by Victoria Pitz, MHC
Both inside and out of the therapy room I have met some of the most inspiring, compassionate, empathetic, passionate individuals, many of whom have expressed interest in joining the mental healthcare field. Most follow this interest with something like “How am I supposed to help others if I can’t fix myself?”
I can’t speak for every therapist, but I can certainly say I’ve been there. Battling with anxiety early on, I sought comfort and support in the therapy room. I came to life in a safe space and had a desire to create that for others. However, I denied my passion for becoming a therapist for many years because I didn’t think someone who needed help could help others.
The truth is, you can make your experience your super power.
Having gone to therapy myself, I know how daunting it is to spend hours searching the web in the hopes to find a kind face with availability.
I am familiar with the mixed bag of nerves, fear, relief, and uncertainty as you enter the office for the first time.
I’ve learned coping mechanisms that stuck with me, received feedback that changed my perspective on things, and have had a helping hand as I learned to open up to someone who was once a complete stranger.
In short, I am intimately aware of what it can feel like to be on the other side of the chair (or the screen).
I likely would not have entered this field had I not gone to therapy myself. These experiences have informed my practice in a way that no lecture or textbook ever could. Seeking therapy most often makes you a stronger, well-rounded, capable human being. It offers you a chance to look at life through another lens, to learn about yourself, and to become more compassionate with yourself which oftentimes trickles out to others. Therapy is brave, raw, honest, compassionate. Therapy hones the skills that make an effective therapist.
In this field, we work to rid ourselves of shame and judgment; we dare to dream, to open ourselves to possibility, to face our fears. If this work is calling you too, lean in to your heart’s message.
“Tell the story of the mountains you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide”. – Morgan Harper Nichols