Therapy. #MeToo

 Illustration by Thaakirah Jacobs. 

Illustration by Thaakirah Jacobs. 

If you’ve seen your therapist in the last 6 months I bet you talked about your #MeToo experience (experiences, let’s be real..). I know this because:

  1. I did (and continue to do so).

  2. All my friends have.

  3. Therapists are noticing that the number of new patients looking for help in coping with their “me too” experiences is on the rise.

  4. And that their existing patients are finally opening up about their feelings and the effects of sexual abuse and harassment on the quality of their lives. Some for the very first time.

I have a wonderful 78 year old woman in my life. We were discussing the whole #MeToo thing and I asked if she had any “me too” moments. I was going out on a limb bringing it up with her because she is one of the most closed (she would say discreet) women I’ve ever met. But I figured that because she is female, she has experienced some sexual harassment or predation.

Her eyes turned red and teared up. After a minute she said “I have”.
She went on to tell the story of her 8 year old self.
She said “I think it changed me”. I said “Duh!” (in an extremely empathetic way).  I asked if she’d ever told anyone this before.
She said no, never.
I was so happy for her and I’m curious how she felt after telling it for the first time.

The #MeToo movement has been an extraordinary step in the right direction. What it’s also been is a catalyst towards a deeply personal and life changing (dare I say improving?) healing for millions of women all over the world. The relief that comes from having a mental health “professional” bear witness to your entire story cannot be underestimated.

If you are considering trying therapy I strongly you urge you to do so. If you are female go to a female. If the first Dr. doesn’t feel right for you try another. When you find one you trust go once a month - or more often if you can afford it and find it helpful - for at least 6 sessions.

Don’t cancel an appointment because you think you don’t have anything to say that day. Don’t stop going until you’ve done 6 sessions. These are trust/relationship building sessions. Often the ability to show the whole you takes time. Don’t quit before you’ve told your full story.

You are not committing to life long regular therapy! If you don’t think it is helping in any way after 6 sessions I will personally apologize.

#DoItForYou

Article by Anna Quick Palmer