Your Older Sister: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

 

 

 

I started blogging late in 2012, following my beginning a journey in mental health treatment. Blogging wasn’t completely foreign to me; I had participated in LiveJournal accounts. This post is about advice in regards to blogging. So: here are 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging.

10. Have a plan

When I started blogging, I wanted to track my journey with mental health professionals. Basically, my posts were mostly angry and self-pitying. There was no plan behind my blog, no awareness of niche. In a way, I approached my blogging as a LiveJournal writer might: as a diary.

My assumption was that someone with mental illness would connect with me based on having the same diagnosis, which is a very flawed series of assumptions on my part. Again, there was no planning. I had zero recognition of process and intentions (because there were none).

9. Know Your audience

I am still very guilty of this, because I don’t quite know who the “masses” who visit my blog are. Perhaps I can do polls to get to know them better. For the most part, they are fellow book readers. There’s a lot of common approaches to writing in this community, and I am trying to see what works for me as a writer.

Awareness comes from interacting with your audience (which is something I’m new to). No one is obliged to read your posts.

8. Networking

This networking thing is very strange to me, because I am very bad at approaching people. If anything, my whole book blogging career is owed to Inge. She introduced me to people who are so lovely and kind to me. Then, Ely added me to this group of bold and strong individuals while we worked on the Disability Diaries.

I am not good at making friends, but I’d tell myself to try to comment on more blogs and network better to get a better sense of audience, content, and ways to present myself.

7. write what you like

Shannon always says this on her blog: write what you like to talk about. At first, I was like, “Pfft, Shannon.” But, the more I read her blog, the more I see what she means. The more passionate you are about the topic at hand, the more engaging and interesting your writing becomes. Also, and this is kind of something I didn’t ever consider before, when you write about what you’re truly passionate about, you start connecting with your own people–folks who have things in common with you.

6. keywords and seo plugins

I am very new to WordPress Up until September of 2016, I was using Blogger. Now, with this new web hosting service, I am able to use some nice plugins to help guide me along the way. In a way, these plugins help guide me until I get better at writing posts that are streamlined.

5. Consistency matters

Some people say that if you write amazing posts, you’ll be successful. I don’t agree with this approach to blogging. Instead, I am keen on posting consistently to have a nice batch of content for people to enjoy.

4. Write in Advance

This ties back to posting consistently. For me, I get bouts of heavy depression and general anxiety (along with other issues). Life happens, too. Writing in advance and scheduling posts helps keep the blog consistent, even when you are not actually writing every day.

3. List new ideas somewhere accessible

I like writing in a notebook. Always brainstorm new topics. Explore things that interest you. See what other people are writing, and fill in the holes in the narrative from your own perspective.

 

2. Don’t do it for the money

Blogging is not easy, and I am not sure how one can actually sustain themselves with this job as their main source of income. If you approach it as a business, it loses its fun.

 1. Be Yourself

Finally, remember who you are. Your values and sensibilities are ultimately what will define your blog and its direction. Use writing as a way to chart your development as a thinker, writer, reader, artist, person.

Being yourself is the best shade of you that anyone could ask for. But, also, be open to learn and grow–develop yourself as a person and blogger.

 

  Today, I am sharing some tips on how to find your authentic self. In
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: How to Find and Stay True to Your Authentic Self

 

Today, I am sharing some tips on how to find your authentic self. In addition, I want to discuss how to stay connected to your inner truth.

Why Should I Find My Authentic Self?

Authenticity is all about honoring who you are and what feels true to you. By having a strong relationship to your authentic self, you are not easily swayed by people. Instead, you are aware of what feels good to you. This process is recursive and ever evolving. What may lock in with who you are a few years ago might not be the same later on in your life.

Meditate

This is the bane of my existence right there. For me, when I meditate, I see a lot of my inner chaos. But, I’d like to suggest that this is not a reflection on who you are as person. I genuinely believe we all have a “shadow self,” or a “dark side.” Sometimes, sitting in silence, observing your thoughts, is frightening because of this.

However, I think the more attuned you are to your thoughts, the more likely it is for you to see what makes you feel good. What feels authentic to you? Ask yourself this question in meditation, and try to see what comes up. It’s about polishing up that hidden image of your true self, and finding what this image entails.

When you are meditating, try to strip away the traditional or cultural definitions of morality. In fact, I would even go a step further and suggest to loosen the grip of others’ influence on you. Go to your pure, unadulterated self. Get to know what echoes around in your spirit.

Journal

Meditation is about establishing inner peace and knowledge. Writing in a journal as a reflection tool is about capturing these moments of clarity as well as the moments of intense disturbance. For me, I rely on journals to help me see patterns in my thinking. Sometimes, when intense emotions rise to the surface, it is hard to determine what to make of them.

Journaling provides a buffer to reactions. It slows down your reaction time, and lends itself as a tool to guide you back to your authentic self. The more you journal, the more likely it is for you to see through your thoughts and their implications.

Occasionally, you could go back and read old journal entries. See the patterns in your thinking and your behaviors. Then, make sure you include how the actions made you feel. You can eliminate what did not resonate with you and your true self.

Eventually, you have your own guidelines of how to act, carry yourself, and respond to external and internal triggers.

Do What Feels Good

After being connected to your own thoughts and emotions, it then boils down to taking actions that feel true to who you are. If you do something that does not resonate with who you are, take note of that. I know, for me, sometimes I get caught up in trying to please people and I forget to honor who I am in the process.

Be gentle with yourself. This is a lifelong process and there are no hard and fast rules. It is your journey; you get to decide what goes and what doesn’t. In the words of my favorite yoga teacher, Tara Stiles, “You can do anything you dream up,”

Focus inwards. See what feels right, and apply it.

And, finally, I want to emphasize that authenticity is not just about being true to who you are. It’s about being self-aware as well. It’s about kindness and sensitivity in regards to how others feel.

 

      I started blogging late in 2012, following my beginning a journey in
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: On Finding Happiness during Depressive Episodes

I have had depression all my life–this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It’s like being punched in the boob, which, if you don’t know, is the worst. The key is to experience a full range of emotions, and accept them. Here are some tips to find things to be happy about. (Worst sentence structure ever. Yo, I studied and taught English composition and reading. Woo!)

1. Reasons to Be Alive

On a very basic primal level, it is important to have reasons to be alive. Maybe it’s the pleasure of going to the beach, lay in the sun, read books that stimulate you mentally. You can look forward to seeing small kittens learn to eat Big Cat food™. Watching sunsets and taking goofy pictures of yourself are another reason for me, personally, to stick around.

Still stuck? Check out this video for some ideas.

2. Mission Statement

If you are feeling up to it, think of a bigger picture, beyond the basic sensations you want to experience, the things you want to see, the people you want to meet, and so on. It helps to be working towards something.

If you don’t have goals, set them up! It’s never too late. The goals can be lofty and epic. On the flip side, they can also be simple.

The idea is to break down your life into areas you can control, like: relationship to yourself and to the world around you. How do you want to carry yourself? What kind of impact do you want to make on community, your country, your continent, the planet?

3. Things that Serve You

So, you should try to be of service to the Universe, but also, consider releasing things that do not bring you peace in the long run. This comes with a warning, though, because some things are uncomfortable since they tap into lessons you could work on. Sometimes, discomfort is not “bad.” It’s often necessary for growth.

However, sometimes, the pain is doing damage with little value. In that case, it helps to release these ideas, memories, people, relationships, habits, whatever they may be. You can read up more on that here.

4. Capture the Happy

Sometimes, it helps to have a little reserve of happiness. For me, that means saved pictures, and music that brings me peace. Create playlists, go all Pinterest-y and make mood-boards, vision boards, whatever can bring you a smile.

The key is to remember that things were once okay, and that they can be okay once more. Remember Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” I interpret this as not “instant happiness.” It’s more of a remembering that happiness is possible. When depression hits, it is very hard to recall happy moments.

Having them pre-prepared (try saying that 10 times fast. Go!) releases the pressure of forcing them out when you’re unwell.

5. Framing

Remember, framing matters. Think deeply of how you perceive the world and others. It is important to remember that the people you’re comparing yourself to are edited and framed portrayals of themselves.

Check out this video on framing, by my favorite author, John Green.

I want to add that perception regarding  your life is not the only truth out there. It feels like it is, and the challenge is to question the narrative. Are there abundant joyful blessings in your world that you are not seeing? I am not saying you guilt yourself into feeling happy. No, but try to frame the depression as a factor in your life. It’s not all that is in your world. Again, it may feel that way in the moment.

6. Start Small

Take the day off. Let yourself feel the sadness. In the meantime, try to do gentle things for yourself. A nice cup of tea, watching fun movies, cuddle with teddy bears and/or fur babies. Here are some ideas of how to do that.

 

      I started blogging late in 2012, following my beginning a journey in
  Today, I am sharing some tips on how to find your authentic self. In
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: On Healthier Self Talk

One of the most prominent voices you’ll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays a huge role in the way you carry yourself. The more aware you are of your thought processes and self talk, the more effective you can be at all facets of your life.

Get to Know Self-Talk

Self talk is exactly what it sounds like. It is the process by which you communicate with yourself. It is how you handle yourself. When you quiet your mind, what do you find? Often, we are taught to be critical of ourselves. This critical lens turns quite negative, though.

For example, you may find yourself saying things like: “What’s wrong with me?” or comparing yourself to colleagues and friends. Some people even go as far as questioning their value and worth.

 

What’s the Big Deal?

 

Puns aside, what’s wrong with negative self talk? A lot. Negative self talk leads to severe self doubt. You start questioning if you are up to any challenges. Not only that, you also find yourself trapped in a negative loop. It builds up anxiety and panic levels, with depression skyrocketing.

The way you talk to yourself has a lot to do with your self worth. Are you worthwhile? Worth taking a chance on? What you say to yourself translates to how you expect others to treat you. It also connects with your expectations from yourself. What can you accomplish? What are you capable of?

1. Monitor the Negative Chatter 

What you hear and think affect how you feel, so it’s key to recognize your thought patterns. How do you perceive the world? What is your perspective on how you are treated by others and how you treat yourself? Are you surrounded by people who say negative things to you too often? Maybe separate yourself from the chatter every once in a while.

2.  Positive Influence

It’s pretty helpful to find people who influence you positively. Surround yourself with love, to yourself and to others. As always, I will have to recommend the very powerful idea of having love, affection, and compassion to yourself and to others. Look up songs you love, make playlists, find positive self-help people or artists who make you feel good. Maybe search for inspirational stories to watch when the negative chatter gets to you.

 

3. Affirmations

This one feels a little strange to share, but maybe you could consider affirmations. I enjoy Gabrielle Bernstein’s affirmations in her books. I used to create mood boards of positive things in my life (literal boards). Now, I go on Pinterest and look up affirmations or Tumblr. Blogs can be a great tool to help you find good things to say to yourself. A nice tip to keep in mind is to think of yourself as a child of the universe, and offer support and gentleness to yourself.

 

4. Cautious Wording

Rather than saying you “can’t” or “couldn’t,” try to rephrase your self-talk to something more empowering. You “don’t,” instead, sounds more of a choice rather than something relating to your abilities. Be gentle with the way you phrase things. Obviously, we all slip up and we pick ourselves back to where we were or even higher.

 

5.  Have Goals

Little goals or big goals, just try to give yourself a purpose to fit your life into. I like to make little goals so things can be more achievable. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed. But, I do have overarching goals, too. You could consider writing these goals down to hold yourself more accountable and to have a tangible thing to go back to.

 

Your Turn:

How do you manage your self talk? What are some of your favorite tips to improve your relationship with yourself? Share in the comments!

 

For More:

Make Your Self Talk Work For You

The Importance of Positive Self Talk 

What is Self Talk? 

 

I want to expand on the idea of self care. In addition, I'd like to
I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached
In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try

Your Older Sister: On Conscious Living

In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try to live consciously. When you know yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, life’s surprises don’t shake you as much.  Here are some tips for more conscious living.

Slow Your Roll

Breath carefully. Part of this awareness comes from your breath. Try to find your own rhythm of taking in inhales and exhales. One of the coolest things I have learned in recent days is the concept of ease. Tara Stiles talks about extensively in Strala Yoga. There is this weird idea that we need to be in pain to gain what we want.  I never understood how and why that would ever work. But, I like the notion of moving with ease, breathing, carrying yourself with a sense of content and happiness. The rest will come on its own.

Thinking Carefully

So, you need to be thinking carefully as well. You do have to get in touch with yourself frequently, on a daily basis at least. Try to figure out how you feel about things. How do you process what happens in your life? How do you dream? What do you dream of? Why do you think this way? When, how is it triggered? Where do you find yourself in reaction to these things you are faced with? Getting in touch with yourself allows you to have this awareness and understanding of why you feel and act the way you do. In therapy, we often talk about how mindfulness and observing feelings allows for a more leveled reaction. “Oh, I see that I am feeling judged, which makes me defensive. I don’t need to do that. I am safe. I don’t need to justify my worth to anyone.” Simple mantras like this help get perspective and avoid hurting yourself and others.

Find Your Own Truth

Another tip for living consciously relates to finding your own truths. In particular, doing so rather than following what is taught as the standard form of truth. In establishing this habit, you set your own rules and standards. Once you know what you stand for, you can figure out who you want to become based on these rules, you then can shape your reactions and actions based on what you value.

Self Awareness

It’s about following intuition but with a sense of awareness, because not all things that come with ease are right. I think it’s key to not fall into the trap of knee-jerk reactions. Yes, it’s hard to find the stillness within in a world that is in fast-forward constantly. A well-thought out response takes effort, especially when starting out, but it is worth it.

Self Acceptance

There also comes this acceptance of who you are and your capacities. This self-awareness is not about limiting yourself, but it is about not forcing things. Let your strengths shine, and be understanding of what you can and cannot do. I think some trial and error can help guide you along the way, but there’s also the concept of saying no more often. Reject what is expected and find what you value, follow that as a guide.

Empathy and Forgiveness 

Another aspect of living consciously lies in forgiveness and understanding others. It is a challenge to see where people are coming from, but compassion makes us more than just reacting objects. It gives us perspective and it allows others to see us with love and understanding in return.

I’ll end with this note: it’s hard to develop this tuning within, this understanding of oneself and our ethics, values, talents, capabilities, because we live in a time where urgency is everything. We’re so caught up on the literal, the physical, the tangible, that we forget to go inwards and get in touch with our deepest beliefs. We are taught to give in to societal terms and rules and regulations so much that we suppress our own values. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can lead a happier life, a more content and peaceful life, with acceptance and love for yourself and others.

For More:
A Guide to Living Consciously 
5 Tips to Conscious Living 
21 Ways to Live More Consciously 

While it is endearing,  My Big Fat Greek Wedding relies on stereotypes to communicate the difference
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I
Part of having an online presence is this weird isolation from real life, whatever that

Your Older Sister: On Self Care

I want to expand on the idea of self care. In addition, I’d like to give you some ideas on how to take it slow and care for yourself, the one person you got for life. First, let me start with why it’s nice to care for yourself. It may seem like a given, but if you have mental illness or low self esteem, these things don’t come naturally.

 

Also: I hate to point fingers here, but the media and society as a whole don’t really encourage self care. It is portrayed as a selfish act and indulgent as hell.

That is a small minded way of seeing self care. It is rather simplistic to assume that taking care of oneself negates the care we have for others. In fact, I posit that caring for others is dependent on care for oneself. If you want to be a better friend, lover, child/offspring, perhaps you should consider spending some time with yourself. Let me give you some ideas.

Cleanse 
The truth is, we need to cleanse ourselves from a world that is often filled with awful, terrible things. You’ll need to process what you have experienced. On a literal level, you’ll need to cleanse your body, face, and hair. These things are taken for granted, but, I remember being so overjoyed to be in my own shower after being in the hospital because: a) privacy, b) an opportunity to not stress out, c) self-soothing. Try to see them as opportunities to pamper yourself. Take your time. Breathe. Notice your body. Observe the crevices and creases. When I was little, I used to count fingers and toes, grateful. I try to remind myself to do that every day now to put life in perspective. Love the body you’re in. Work towards that goal, and know that some days will be better than others.

But, the cleansing is not just physical; you can also need to emotionally empty the negative feelings otherwise they will fester. I find journaling crucial. You can go on a run just to release the anxiety. Walking is a good alternative, if you’re like unfit like me. Yoga and meditation are also quite helpful.

For More:
–  “Reasons to Meditate.” 
“Why is Meditation So Important”
“Shower Meditation.”

Create
When life throws you curve-balls and you don’t know how to process it, sometimes it helps to be creative. Try not to pressure yourself into it, obviously, because you don’t need more stress in your life. But, if you can, try to take pictures, draw, paint, create graphics, dress up, play with your hair, get a haircut, change up your appearance, paint your nails, do your makeup, reorganize your room, your books, your clothes, create play lists. There are so many things you can do to put out positivity into the world. Here are some more ideas.

For More: “Why We All Need A Creative Outlet.” 
  “What I Wish I Knew About Creativity When I Was 20”
“Every Millennial Needs a Creative Outlet.”  

Connect 
I think one of the best ways to break the loneliness of sadness or negativity is to converse with someone. If you’re like me, and you can’t bring yourself to physically speak because of anxiety and mental illnesses, try to do it on a grander scale. Listen to some poetry or audio books. It is a great consolation, finding your place shifted and changed as you are exposed to stories of different people. Sure, some would argue that literature can be about escape, but I suggest otherwise. I see it that the point of literature isn’t so much about traveling through time and space, but perhaps to find the similarities, to notice the links we have with others, the common grounds we may have.

And, even if you read completely different perspectives, it helps to be engaged in a dialogue with them as you are experiencing their narratives. It is this beautiful connection where the conversation keeps going on, whether as you are writing a response, or talking about it with someone else, or maybe tweeting the writer, or even just thinking about it to yourself. It’s all connections. It is all a back and forth.

For More: “Pretty Bad Ways to Start a Conversation.” 
“This is Your Life on Writing.” 

One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays
I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached
In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try

Your Older Sister: On Therapy and Its Benefits

 

I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety of starting it. There’s such a huge stigma against getting help, or even addressing mental illness. But, as I worked my way through therapy, I have found a way to get the best out of it (for more on that, check this out).

I have been thinking a lot about therapy and its benefits, so I thought I’d share what I have noticed its effects.

1. Refocus the Brain

I remember assuming the worst out of people. My brain jumped straight into anger and judgment. I knew I didn’t want to be like this, but didn’t know how to break away. Moreover, I was self harming and couldn’t think of a better way to cope.

Therapy shifted my thought process because we discuss how I think often. The more you go to therapy, the more you’ll notice the cycles you fall into when faced with stress.

2. Reflection Time

Another benefit of therapy is that it gives you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and actions. You start to see patterns in the way you behave. It also gives you a chance to look back on incidents in your life. You start to look deeply at what you thought was just a normal day (or not).

 

3. Giving you Language

For me, I started to find words to my unsaid emotions and thoughts. When you say things out loud and the therapist just tells you scientific terms for it, these emotions are validated. You start not to feel as weird as you thought.

 

You start to know what to call the feelings you feel. For example, I was diagnosed with OCD recently. So, now, when my compulsions act up, I can express exactly what is making me act “out of order.”

The same goes with anxiety and depression. You start to have the terminology to clearly examine your experiences.

4. Accountability

When you have someone to talk to about your issues, whatever they may be, a certain aspect of accountability is non-verbally set. My therapist often helps me come up with “homework” to try to achieve. Goal, if you may, can drive you towards a healthier approach to life. There is this person helping you chart your progress, too.

Before I met my current psychiatrist, I wasn’t able to sleep very well. I remember blaming it on hormones, but then my therapist would snap me out of this belief and help me see that it’s an ongoing issue. It helps a lot.

5. Complicating Things

Not only was I accountable for the way I act, but I also am pushed to think deeply about people. Before I got sick, I used to resort to judgment and suppressed anger–often thinly veiled in the guise of passive aggression.

The more I realized how complicated I am, I started to see that people in general have reasons for acting the way they do and that it is my job to be considerate of them, if I am asking them to be considerate towards me.

It’s all about give and take, sure, but I think mostly about being of service. I want to serve people and help them in any way I can.

6. Coping Mechanisms

I think of therapy as coaching. The more you do it, the more you try to apply the mechanisms mentioned throughout your sessions, the more likely you’ll find some techniques that work for you.

For example, I remember not being able to live without self-harm and suicidal tendencies (yes, I see the irony in that). But, the more I worked on other coping mechanisms, the more likely I was to apply them rather than resorting to my distorted thinking.

7. Finding a Purpose

Meaning, you find your place in the world, not depending on whatever qualifications you may have. Like, right now, I don’t work as a professor. But, I found that writing is what I can do given my health. It’s more satisfying right now. I get to teach in simpler yet grander ways.

8. Listening

Oh, how beautiful is it to have someone to listen to you for an hour. This is something I learned from therapy: listening helps. You can interject when the thought development process is flawed, sure. For the most part, supporting others helps a lot. Again, it goes back to feeling you have a purpose and that you are giving back to the community somehow.

I don’t think we ever have the total picture down, though, so I am open to people disagreeing obviously.

9. Nothing Repressed

The other thing I love about therapy is that the more you trust your therapist, the more you can let out the weirdest behaviors and feelings out. For instance, I was diagnosed with hypomania, which is never talked about usually. I used to think you’re either hardcore bipolar or straight up depressed. But, again, just like with people, you start realizing that mental health is complicated. We mostly fit on a grey spectrum, nothing too stark of a difference.

10. Addressing Phobias, Traumas, and Abuse

Coming from a series of traumas, I have to give this background to therapists. They will help you find a way to cope with these terrifying taboos. You get to express yourself openly in therapy and the more you let it out, the better you’ll feel.

I am not saying it’ll be sunshine after therapy. I still suffer from PTSD and it’s not going to go away because it’s part of my conditioning. But, you learn those coping mechanisms.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried therapy? What was it like for you? Share in the comments!

For More:

11 Intriguing Reasons to Give Talk Therapy a Try 

Top 10 Reasons to Try Therapy 

 

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: On Getting the Most Out of Your Therapy Sessions

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached with better understanding. In turn, expectations can be adjusted to more realistic levels.
Therapy is a conversation between you and a licensed professional. However, I do want to posit that therapy is more of a form of self care. It is like meditation: it requires focus and precision. Moreoever, it requires a patience. Patience is necessary as it takes a lot of time and effort to find: a) the right therapist, b) the right pacing, c) the right balance of talking and listening, and, d)the right approach from participating parties.
Professional and Approachable

When looking for a therapist, it is crucial to find someone who is able to be approachable and professional at the same time. I have met doctors who were so detached and clinically cold, it was off putting and discouraging to talk to them at all. They scribbled notes, frowned the whole time, and some even jumped to conclusions and diagnoses. It is not bad to have a diagnosis (in fact, I strongly recommend asking for a diagnosis by the first two sessions).

Lifestyle

Next, you need to make sure the therapist you are working with is supportive of your lifestyle. I have encountered homophobic and racist therapists, unfortunately. Therapists, for the most part, tend to be upfront about their approaches and techniques. While in the mental hospital, I was exposed to a heavy dose of Judeo-Christian influences in our group therapy sessions and 12 Step Program.

Gender and religion sometimes can help when it comes to therapy.  Often, as an approach to trauma, doctors remind me of a bigger picture when it comes to my struggles, but, of course it depends on the patient–or as they refer to us: “clients.”

Pacing

Let’s talk about pacing. Therapy is all about give and take. You don’t want to go to a therapist without a plan. It’s very helpful to write down things you want to tackle in the session. You can make a mental note of topics and incidents you’d like to discuss. Sometimes, topics come up organically, and it’s very advisable to go with the flow in these instances. But, for the most part, it is your session, so please do take it seriously and take control. Steer conversations to hit on your troubles. The key is to ask questions so that you are not doing all the talking. Ask about your diagnoses and tendencies. After a while, you and your therapist will find there are prominent topics that ebb and flow through your life. Sometimes, it is bad habits (like negative self talk, or all or nothing thinking, and so on). At other times, it is illness-related issues, such as: trauma, assault, abuse, drug abuse, self harm, etc.

Try to create continuity from session to session by asking for required reading, videos, or homework. These things should help apply coping techniques discussed in therapy. If your therapist is not giving you coping techniques, ask them to. Remember, this is your session. It is up to you to make the most out of it.

Now, go get theraped.

Good luck.

  I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety
I want to expand on the idea of self care. In addition, I'd like to
In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try