"I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free."
This is supposedly what Michelangelo said when asked how he created his famous statue of David (AKA another monument to classical beauty standards, but beautiful nonetheless!). As an art history major in college, I heard this story a lot. Little did I know how useful it would be when I later became a therapist.
Many people see therapists as emotional personal trainers: "The process is uncomfortable but I want the results. I already know I can't do it on my own. Just tell me what to do and I'll do it!" Anxiety and depression have a way of convincing you that you're powerless. It's easy to think that you need someone else to get rid of them for you.
Sorry to burst your bubble: I'm not the kind of therapist that tells you what to do! I believe that people already have what they need to create the life they want. You've made it this far, and it wasn't by accident. People are resilient, capable, and really just trying to do their best. This goes for everyone. Those who unintentionally hurt those around them, or who can't get out of bed most days. People that make the same mistakes over and over. Guess what they have in common? They already know what they need to do. They just need help chipping away all the "extra" stuff getting in their way.
A strength-based, solution-focused therapist sees you as you could be, and helps you see it too. Your goals may feel overwhelming and really far away. You might feel discouraged because you already know what you need to do, and you still haven't done it. It's OK!
Taking ownership of your wellbeing by seeking help is a huge step. If you can call a stranger, take the time and money and intention to make your way to their office, and then proceed to share all the things that you're not proud of, you're already doing a lot of the work before your first session is even over.
I'm not here to change who you are. I'm here to help you reveal it. You might need some guidance, encouragement, or someone to reflect reality back to you along the way. You might mess up and need somewhere to figure out why without judgment. Yes, I share skills and insights so that you can let go of what's holding you back, but at the end of the day, you will still be you. You'll probably be more you.
I believe that lasting change is created when you are the one doing the work. Therapy helps, but you take all those tools home with you at the end of it. And before you know it, you can trust yourself to make choices that align with your values. That's what freedom feels like.
If you're ready to let go of anxiety, depression, and habits that no longer serve you, call (562) 704-4736 for a free consultation about how therapy can help. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals and couples of all genders and orientations in Long Beach, CA.