I started going to therapy in 2018. I had been wanting to go for quite a while before I actually took the leap and did it. I had once visited a relationship counselor, a hypnotherapist, and seen reiki healers but never had a go-to talk therapist.
I go every week, not necessarily because I’m in weekly turmoil, but because that consistent weekly investment and investigation into how I’m doing and what’s transpired has helped me to see a lot about myself (and has really accelerated some personal growth). Yes, it’s uncomfortable, and yes, there have been a ton of tears (I’m a crier!) but the growth is undeniable. A lot of people wait to start therapy in the midst of a crisis. But two years ago when my dad died unexpectedly, I was so grateful that I already had a relationship with a therapist who understood me.
Growing up in an Asian immigrant household, my family avoided talking about feelings. It wasn't only my household though. When I went to UCLA, the only counselors people talked about were academic counselors (and I never considered going to them for support). In my few years in banking, mental health was never a consideration. And being a small business owner is often lonely and full of second-guessing. Oh, and I’m also a classic indecisive Libra on top of that!
Because of my experiences, it's become important to me to foster a workplace where we can talk openly. A few months ago, Hereafter started subsidizing therapy for any of our employees who either already see a therapist or want to start. And we want to normalize mental health days and taking time off when we need it.
Going to therapy can be daunting. It can be expensive (though there are some more affordable options!!), it can take a while to find the right type of therapy and therapist, and too often there's a social stigma attached. A lot of people deal with anxiety and depression, but they may not know it until they hear others talk about their own experiences. So the more we talk about mental health, the more we can lower the hurdle and stigma for people to seek support.
If you're in the LA area, here are some resources we’ve come across for free or reduced-cost therapy.