a teens experience with therapy

Keep an Open Mind and Try Again- A Teen’s Experience with Therapy

I started therapy about a year and a half ago, when I was 16. When I came into therapy, I was very nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. I had discussed going to therapy several times with my parents.

I had anxiety.

I definitively decided to at the beginning of my junior year, after frequently leaving class and dreading school every day. I go to a small school. It is known for the difficulty of its academics and tight-knit community. Once I got into a friend group it was hard to expand who I talked to.

However, my sophomore year I had a falling out with some of my closest friends, and my best friend at the time left the school. I continuously got more and more anxious, until it got to the point in junior year I was leaving at least one class a day. That is when I made the decision to start therapy.

I didn’t know what to expect.

When I first started I felt a little awkward. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or even what I was supposed to get from it. It felt weird talking about the feelings I was experiencing with someone I had just met. I knew I needed something to change because I didn’t want to keep spending most of the day feeling nauseous and stressed, feeling like I had nowhere to put all the extra energy I had.

I even started looking forward to therapy.

Despite the hesitations I had about starting therapy, I quickly realized it would not be awkward and I found it easy to talk to my therapist. Now I even look forward to going to therapy. It is nice to have a space where I can talk to someone about the things I am struggling with and also gain new coping mechanisms to deal with them.

I kept an open mind and decided to try again.

I started EMDR after a couple sessions. I had tried EMDR before and it hadn’t helped me so I didn’t expect anything to come from it this time. However, I kept an open mind and I decided to try again. This time it helped me process through things that had happened with my friends that I didn’t realize were still causing me anxiety. They were also preventing me from being fully open to find a new group of friends. After EMDR I thought less about what happened with my old friends and found the friends I hang out with today.

Now it helps me deal in healthy ways.

Now it helps me currently as I face changes and knowing how to cope with them. For example, last year in May I broke up with my boyfriend of a year and a half and it was still very difficult to go through but going through therapy made it much easier to deal with than it would have been. It didn’t make it less painful, but it helped me to deal with it in a healthy way. Even now as I get ready to move and graduate I can get through the anxiety much better than I have ever been able to deal with change.

Therapy has helped me in many ways.

I think that therapy has helped me in many ways. I have someone to talk through my anxiety with. It has helped me process through my past experiences with. It helps me currently find new coping mechanisms so I don’t have to let change affect me as much. Now I can feel my emotions without them seeming too big or out of control.

Abby, Age 17

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