“I don’t deserve to be here.” This is a common statement by teens feeling forced to attend therapy by their parents. Many people see a need for therapy as when something is going wrong or they’re struggling. I can understand why teens feel that therapy is a punishment; they have to meet a stranger and begin talking about their deepest feelings. It’s overwhelming to say the least!!
Therapy is a time to be selfish, no not the ‘me me me’ negative type of selfish we all think. Although, yes it is a time to just talk about you: how you’re feeling, how you see events, how life is affecting YOU. Many times in the world, we get told being selfish is a bad thing, but really why is taking time to focus on yourself such a bad thing?? Yes, we’ve all been taught to share our toys in kindergarten because we want to be nice, but sometimes it’s nice to not have to share everything with everyone!
Many teens don’t feel they’re allowed to be selfish and so they start shaming themselves. Therapy is (typically) that one hour/one time a week that they get to just focus on themselves. Trying to help teens break down the norm that it’s okay to focus on them and that therapy is a blessing rather than a punishment is a difficult task, but needed. Teens then have available a non-biased person to support them, not focused on anything but helping them better themselves. Helping them become the best self they can be!! In that term, why would therapy or selfishness ever be a bad thing?!?