How to avoid becoming too “selfish” during therapy
Going to therapy involves focusing on yourself to better understand yourself. But how to avoid falling completely into individualism? We asked the pros.
Being self-centered is essential when undergoing therapy. As psychologist Janick Coutu sums it up: “therapy allows us to connect with ourselves to understand our emotions, our needs and our limits. We learn all of this by looking within.”
And this need to understand oneself and to be understood is not acquired by everyone. my frustrations and set my limits, it's sure that at first it's going to come out wrong. I can seem 'focused' on me,” explains Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier, also a psychologist. last minute on the pretext of respecting one's own limits, or accusing a friend of making us feel unloved and insecure at her dinner party because we are not alone with her, if we trust a recent article in the American magazine Bustle which precisely deals with the limits of self-care.
Our workers reassure us, learning to share your feelings is like learning to walk: “It may be awkward at first, but it balances out over time,” explains sexologist and psychotherapist Marie-Pier Tanguay.
Besides trial and error, here are a few things that can help living together while working on yourself:
- Notify others of our process
We can inform those around us of the work we are doing in therapy and of our objectives: “Tell those around us that we are working to establish our limits, that there may be blunders and that we can give feedback to find out how things are going with both parties,” can create greater understanding, explains Janick Coutu. Keep in mind that these new skills may surprise those around you if they are not used to hearing your needs.
- Taking the pulse
Precisely, giving feedback and taking the pulse of the people around us can help: “If we want to maintain a relationship, we don't want to hurt the other. It is therefore important to put yourself in the shoes of the other”, mentions Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier. “You can say to the other: 'don't hesitate to tell me if I hurt you: you have to talk about it'”.
- Set realistic goals and respect your limits
Making realistic plans means “putting the best conditions on your side and being with people you trust,” sums up Marie-Pier Tanguay. If we tend to have panic attacks in public, we can for example ask our friends to meet for a walk or at home, instead of going to a crowded restaurant or noisy bar. This can avoid having to cancel plans at the last minute and thus create disappointment or resentment in those close to you.
Although the mental state can justify actions, it should not however, not become an excuse to absolve oneself of certain behaviors that hurt others, for example, not showing up on a date because one does not have the mental energy. “If your therapy requires 125% of your vital energy, it is better to avoid dating the time that it recovers,” says Marie-Pier Tanguay.
- Empathize with yourself and others
Be forgiving and gentle. towards either, it is important, mention our three speakers. Because undergoing therapy can be difficult, we need to be our own ally and that others support us in this process, even if we can make mistakes along the way.
< p>And what can the entourage do?
Encouraging and validating what the person close to us who is undergoing therapy feels or names can do good, says Janick Coutu: “It does not imply agreeing, but more welcoming the needs and emotions of others,” she explains.
If the relationship with the person undergoing therapy becomes too painful, we have the right to leave time apart: “It's not because I'm upset and disappointed that I'm not empathetic. It's correct to listen to yourself in there if the situation is very irritating and communication is not possible, ”says Janick Coutu. However, we can name it respectfully and not cut ties overnight without explanation.
And for everyone, Marie-Pier Tanguay advises taking a few moments in your day to ask yourself how you are doing, what you are feeling and breathing. This allows us to accumulate less emotions in us and to understand ourselves better, in order to be understood.