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Client-centered Therapy Therapy

How To Be Your Own Hero

Everything hurts. You drag yourself to the doctor’s office, answer some questions, take some tests, and hear your doctor say, “I recommend you talk to someone about what’s been going on in your life.” Your doctor hands you a list of recommended therapists in your area. Probably the last thing you feel is heroic. However, in the age of modern psychotherapy, I will tell you how you can be your own hero.

Everything hurts. You drag yourself to the doctor’s office, answer some questions, take some tests, and hear your doctor say, “I recommend you talk to someone about what’s been going on in your life.” Your doctor hands you a list of recommended therapists in your area. Probably the last thing you feel is heroic. However, in the age of modern psychotherapy, I will tell you how you can be your own hero.

HOW TO BE YOUR OWN HERO

You can be your own hero.

1. Find a psychotherapist with a client-centered approach. Client-centric therapy believes that YOU know what it is that will bring you happiness and fulfillment; the therapist helps you hear that, point out and remove roadblocks, and make course corrections towards your stated goals.

2. Don’t accept a “one-method fits alls” approach. Look for a therapist who will truly listen to you, not insert you into his or her methodology.

3. Listen to yourself. Pay attention to what you are saying, and find away to record those thoughts (journal, computer notes, audio or video recordings).

4. Pay attention to what both you and your therapist keep repeating, and don’t run away. Wherever you find yourself squirming is often exactly what you need to attend to? Getting defensive? Soothe yourself, and dig deeper.

5. Follow through. You’ll never know if changes you wanted to make are effective if you don’t actually practice them.

6. Learn to cultivate your gut instincts. A good instinct, when listened to, builds confidence that you can – and do – generate good ideas, action plans, and choices. It can also protect you when you are about to violate your own beliefs or path.

7. Take your own advice, and learn from what happens. Oftentimes, advice you’ve been handing out to everyone else needs to be applied to yourself. If you find out it was lousy advice, at least you’ll stop giving that advice to others! See if your theories hold true enough to repeat them.

Obviously, I’m a therapist with a strong belief that the client holds the keys to the kingdom when it comes to unlocking the door to more freedom, happiness, and satisfaction in life. As the therapist, I know the more common places to poke and prod, but the client’s honesty in the therapeutic relationship helps the therapist reflect the client’s deepest wishes. Every time a client “comes clean” with his or her life, I issue a heartfelt “thank you” for showing up, for being present and transparent, and for doing him (or herself) a favor by becoming the champion of his own cause.

Isn’t it about time to be your own hero?

By Imei Hsu

Imei Hsu is a mental health counselor, active retired RN, writer, triathlete and arts promoter in the Seattle area and through online services. With 29+ years in healthcare (20+ years in mental health), Imei has a commitment to helping people discover insight into their health, relationships, and connecting. She is the owner of Seattle Direct Counseling and the blog, a presenter and speaker on a variety of psychological topics, and a positive force on the Internet. She is launched her personal project, My Allergy Advocate, in 2018. Imei is two-time Ironman Finisher (Mont-Tremblant 2016, Ironman Canada 2018), and is currently training for her third Ironman in August 2020; she also finished her first ultramarathon in 2017 and has gone on to race the 100K distance while preparing for two separate 100 Mile trail races in 2020. You can find her running everywhere and eating all the thingz, watching movies, and cooking real food.

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