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How Long Does Psychotherapy Take? Part 1. By Lupe Diaz

I’ve been in therapy for ten years on and off. My feelings have changed a great deal over time.
If I had to use one word for how going to therapy made me feel, at the beginning, that word would be crutch. I wondered if I would always need therapy to be a “normal” functional adult. I feared I would never get rid of no matter how hard I worked and no matter what I learned. The Merriam Dictionary defines crutch as: something that a person depends on to help deal with problems or something that a person uses too much for help or support. As you can see even when I was willing to go to therapy I was putting a negative stigma to my own journey of self-recovery.
I shared with my therapist my negative connotation about psychotherapy. Although she thought that I wouldn’t always have need to use a crutch she felt that sometimes in life I would need it. She explained to me that a crutch was really a tool that I was using to be able to navigate life in a healthy manner. Therapy was learning about new tools that I could use in my life and how to use them; a vocational school for a mentally healthy life. Sometimes you’ll have to go back to school to learn about new tools that you might need to use or how to use the tools you already have in a different situation. Once I came to accept that therapy wasn’t a crutch but a tool to learn to use other tools to maintain myself mentally stable I was able to navigate through therapy feeling less insecure.
It took many years to get to a place where therapy was a positive force in my life, but now that I am there I see continued benefits of staying in therapy. This is why I’m still working hard ten years later. While the amount of time in therapy will vary between people, any way you look at it: it will take many years.  In the second part of this blog, I will talk about how I’m learning to use therapy tools.

2 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Great blog, Lupe!! Love your insight.

  2. Andrena says:

    I am an ordained minister and am in therapy. It’s the healthiest decision I have ever made in my life, aside from getting clean from drugs and alcohol. Keep the good work up!

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