But that’s what you hear. And that’s probably what you think.
If I were really smart, I would be able to solve it, rise above it, fix it, ignore it, rethink it, or forgive it. Fast.
Not when it comes to serious emotional distress, or high levels of sensitivity, or childhood trauma or your crazy Uncle Fred.
The thing is, you probably took on lots of responsibility in your family when you were younger. If things were dysfunctional or traumatic, you may have been the one who picked up the pieces. Or protected your siblings. Made everyone laugh. Or got out as soon as you could. You were likely quite resilient at the time and developed very effective coping strategies.
But now you may notice that you’re anxious or depressed. Maybe you keep picking the wrong partners. Or you’re way too angry at your kids. So, of course, you say you should know better. Smart people don’t fall into painful patterns that are the result of early losses—losses of confidence, identity, safety or trust.
Oh, yes they do.
Sometimes, even you, with your gorgeous rainforest mind, need to find a guide, a counselor, someone to walk with you on the path when you run into all of those boulders and can’t see how to get past them. Someone who will hold the ladder for you as you climb out of the abyss.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
I’ve always had to solve problems on my own. No one will be able to help. I’ve tried and I can out-think them all. They can’t keep up with me. I’ll overwhelm them. I’ll talk too much. I won’t talk enough. I’ll end up taking care of them. I’ll be bored. I’ll be boring. I won’t do it right. I can’t be that vulnerable. It’s too complicated. The past is past. What’s the point?
Am I right?
I knew it.
Here’s the thing: Therapy is a very helpful process. Especially if you’ve experienced any type of abuse, neglect, trauma or even a garden variety dysfunctional family. At its best, it can provide guidance and support for healing the past and for rediscovering your creativity, your self-acceptance and your authenticity.
But how do you find the right person?
Shop around. Look for someone who understands g-g-giftedness or who is willing to learn about it. Ask your questions and see if they love your intensity or are intimidated by it. They need to love it. Use your intuition and see how you feel when you’re in the office. Find out about the different types of psychotherapy and look for a counselor who practices in the areas that appeal most to you. Make sure the person is highly sensitive and empathetic. Look for a rainforest mind.
Oh, yes, and check to be sure the counselor has been a client in therapy.
And has been to the abyss.
First photo: https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0099009/photos/lungstruck/3282093961/ CC
To my dear blogEEs: I’m a little anxious that you’ll think that this post is an advertisement for myself. Ack! Glug! I suspect that I’m just worrying for no reason, but I had to mention this anyway. Long distance counseling is not particularly effective as far as I know and licensed counselors can’t practice in states where they aren’t licensed. OK?
There are more types of psychotherapy than those listed in the Huffington Post article above. Another resource that explains more about therapy is here.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you. If you’d rather write a private comment, there’s a form on the About page.