One of the greatest, and simplest, acts you can do is telling others you are in therapy.
Whether it's to your life partner, a close friend, family member or your entire Facebook feed, you will not believe the impact.
That one move of Sharing, Normalizing, and Opening Doors has a ripple effect that you will never know about. So let me share with you. Because I am on the other end of that ripple. I am the one that gets the call from your person who finally found the courage to talk to someone because YOU made it ok.
Throughout my years in Social Work, Psychotherapy and Life Coaching, I have heard from clients every now and again that it was that one conversation with you that helped them reach out.
Now, you don't need to make a big production out of it. You don't need to share what you are in therapy for or how things are going. In fact, the more matter-of-fact it is, the better. You go to therapy. You go because you have hope. You go because you have curiosity about yourself and this world. You go because you are willing to put in the hard work to sort out the emotional barriers to reaching your dreams. You go because you won't settle and you're starting to realize that you're worth it.
By sharing, you normalize.
When a person we actually know and care for does something then it becomes "no big deal". Depending on our life experiences, we might be surprised or even shocked at first but then it becomes less scary. Only the unknown is scary. If someone we know is talking to a counselor or life coach then it shatters the horrible, inaccurate, and debilitating taboo that "only crazy people need therapy and I'm not crazy".
Strong people go to therapy. Brave people go to therapy. Hard working people go to therapy. Determined people go to therapy. People who improve, learn and grow go to therapy.
In the same way you would tell a friend, "I hired a personal trainer at the gym for a few sessions to take it up a notch." is the same way you would tell a friend, "I hired a counselor for a few sessions to take my life up a notch."
Your friend/family member/coworker may never tell you they called me. And they may never thank you for your courage. So I'm thanking you today.
Keep being authentic. Keep normalizing the fact that strong people don't avoid challenges; they work for change. Know your courage gives us courage.