Even Therapists Need Therapists

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Once I realized what I had was a thing, and it was called Postpartum OCD, I became trained in perinatal mental health. I became educated in a whole new area I once knew nothing about. So yeah, working with moms, it’s my jam. It’s something I’m passionate about. Funny how life leads us down certain paths, isn’t it?

Now let me also preface this by saying I’d consider myself a fairly strong and resilient individual.

I’ve overcome some difficult family dynamics growing up, and when things get tough, well, I plow through. I’m that person who takes care of herself. I depend on myself. It’s what I do.

In college, I majored in psychology. I wanted to help others, but more importantly, I needed answers to better understand certain family members and mental health overall. And there were moments in my Family Therapy Class in grad school that I thought, “Ya know, I should probably try this whole therapy thing out for myself.” 

But I never actually did it. And then this past year happened when we put our house on the market with a baby and two young children. And after about 130 days (give or take a few), I could feel myself breaking.

And my husband was just as stressed. I’d say more. So when one of my close friends reached out to me wondering if I could recommend a therapist in the area, I thought, “Okay. This is it!” I texted her back, saying I’d do some research and that I was actually thinking about seeing a therapist myself.

I opened up to my college roommates in a group text to make the move to see my own therapist. One responded that therapy was great for her after having her first child. And another said, “Really? Can’t you hire yourself? I thought you must have all the answers to stay composed.”  

I was a little surprised by her response. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. But then I thought how she must think that since I work with moms to decrease stress and manage feelings of anxiety and depression that I have all the answers.

But the honest answer is, I don’t have all the answers. Therapy isn’t having all the answers. Therapy isn’t about someone telling you what to do. Therapy is about discovering yourself and being vulnerable. It’s about not being judged. It’s about having accountability. Therapists hold space for you to open up about things you don’t or can’t do with others. Therapists help YOU find your own answers. They cheer you on. And let’s face it, everyone could use a cheerleader in life.

And although I may understand mental health, behavior, and coping skills better than the average person, I can’t be my own therapist. Just as a doctor can’t give themselves a checkup or a gynecologist examine their own hoo-ha. Doctors need doctors. Teachers learn from other teachers. We have limitations.

Sometimes we need to call on others to help ourselves.

I’m thankful that we are talking more about mental health and wellness in this day and age. I’m glad that in the age of social media and comparison, we are acknowledging that life isn’t always that beautiful picture we post.

Life can be wonderful and beautiful; yes, it sure can be. But it can also be hard and tough and real and raw.

So to the person reading this, I hope you can see that it’s okay to know your limits. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay not to be okay. And it is perfectly cool to go and see a therapist. 

Hey, even therapists need therapists.

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Alisa is a psychotherapist, life coach and mom of three. Alisa is a native of Fairfield County and lives with her husband (a New York transplant), daughter (October 2012) and two sons (January 2015, June 2018). Following the birth of her second child, Alisa left her full-time job and pursued her dream of starting her own private practice by founding Balanced Being Counseling, LLC and Balanced Being Coaching, LLC (abalancedbeing.com) located in downtown Fairfield. Alisa specializes in working with young women and moms to decrease stress and manage feelings of anxiety and depression. She is trained in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and is an active committee member of Postpartum Support International- CT Chapter serving as the Communications Chair. Alisa is the creator the Facebook Group, Balanced Mama, a non-judgmental space for moms to feel inspired, gain support and come together among the chaos. She is passionate about motherhood, supporting women, buffalo chicken and a good margarita.

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