Can you be your own psychologist? In some ways, you totally can. You can be your own therapist because the path to healing is different for each person. Think about it, therapy is unique for each person and there are so many different kinds of it. I think the majority of people want to be saved from their pain by a magical or external force. I know there have been many points in my life where I wished that things would just get better. I wanted my boyfriend to save me or my mom or anyone who seemed like they had the answers. I didn’t feel like I knew how to help myself. Later, I began to see that nobody has “the answers.” And there are no answers. There are different questions and answers for each of us. There’s no rule book or instruction manual for our lives. Your life is different from mine and thinking that there’s one way to live life isn’t the case.
If you want somebody to save you, you’re not alone. This is human and natural. When you feel like you need someone to fix you, you are not the only one. Life is difficult and we would like things to be easier than they are but unfortunately, that’s not the case. People seek mental health treatment because they want to be well. However, wellness isn’t obtained instantly. It takes time to get well and it’s important to remember that you are the master of your own mental health journey. Even if you have an entire treatment team of mental health professionals working with you, you’re at the head of that team. You’re leading the way and making it possible for you to heal. Your destiny is defined by what you do.
Your therapist is like your tour guide on the journey of your life. They’re not going to tell you where to go, but they can explain what you’re coping with and how to get better. Their role isn’t to carve out the road for you to walk on. You decide how you get where you’re going to. But your psychologist can tell you what landmarks to pay attention to and what they represent. I like having a personal guide on my life journey. I enjoy that my guide is there to point out places for me to explore. If I didn’t have my guide (therapist) I would survive, I’d be okay, but it wouldn’t be the same.
Your therapist is a tour guide, but once they show you what to look for, you now know. You learn the tools to spot monuments and historical sites along the way. The hope is that once you learn what to notice/observe you won’t need to rely as much on your tour guide, and you can backpack through life without so much guidance. I remember talking to Ari’s therapist and asking her if she thought therapy was a life-long process. She said that she believed that therapy shouldn’t be forever. It should continue until the person in therapy feels like their life is more manageable and they have the coping skills to handle it.
So, you CAN be your own therapist. It takes time to learn how to do it, but one day you’ll be touring your own life and showing other people around.