Montgomery: Go to therapy

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Tyler Montgomery recommends therapy to everyone

TYLER MONTGOMERY, Opinion Columnist

The University of Northern Iowa offers five free therapy sessions. Even without a pandemic going on, more people should attend therapy. That’s one of those “scary” words, therapy. People scold at the idea of it. Why talk about my feelings on a chair, when I could be in my dorm watching a program on Netflix and eating popcorn? True, you could do that, or you could learn to better yourself by talking through elements of your life.

Talking with a therapist doesn’t mean that you have a “problem.” It shows that you have the maturity to realize that you can share your experiences with someone and have them talk about them with you. They aren’t going to release your information, tweet something disparaging about you, or seduce you like in the movies (how Hollywood depicts therapists is horribly misguided and gives off the wrong impression). Actually, seventy-five percent of people who enter therapy make a breakthrough. That twenty-five percent will probably chase off people, so let’s talk about the myths of therapy.

You don’t have to tell your friends that you are seeking therapy. Due to contrary belief, you don’t have to tell your friends everything. You have the right to privacy. Even though some might argue that you don’t, but you really do. If those friends scoff at you for seeking additional help, that only reveals they aren’t the support system you thought they were.

Just because you go once doesn’t mean you have to go again. Think about an activity you hate. Don’t enjoy burnt food? Well, nobody is forcing you to eat burnt food twice. It’s your choice to go more than once. If you feel as if therapy isn’t for you, then you don’t have to go. It’s not for everyone, don’t feel pressured or think something is wrong with you.

Some think it’s a waste of time. No, a professional therapist can help you recognize patterns. It’s not just talking. They are there to find out what triggers your anxiety for example. Sorry, but alcohol isn’t a good answer. Saying that it’s a waste of time is telling yourself that you’re a waste of time. Which isn’t true. Nobody is a waste of time. Leave the talk about being nothing for random tweets on Twitter. Don’t throw away your life with memes (when did everyone become a nihilist?) and try to better yourself. Eight-five percent of people suffer from low self-esteem. Self-deprecating is a wonderful trope when you’re twenty, but eventually, it catches up to you.

Five sessions may not be enough, but with a short semester, it might be good enough. Really, they should try to offer five a semester and not just for the whole year, but there are probably many reasons for that. That’s still five times you can go and find out more about yourself. Self-care isn’t a joke, but our society treats like one. Often times we are too busy attempting to help others to help ourselves. Helping yourself isn’t selfish, it’s one of the most selfless things a person can do.

Help yourself emotionally, especially in times like now. Or you can tweet about how awful you are and drink your problems away. On one final note, anyone can point out flaws about themselves. It doesn’t take a genius to point in the mirror, it does require a hero to see themselves and seek additional advice.