How Can Therapy Make You a Better Person and Professional?

October 26, 2022

Deep introspection is scary but very rewarding.

Hi, I am Nikoleta, and I am a Web developer and UX/UI designer that is curious about countless things. One of them is self-improvement and anything related to creating or creativity. I am not a writer, but I have always practised some writing in micro or regular journaling. Maybe you can expect a book from me soon, who knows.

Most of the time we already know the answers to important questions about ourselves (and our bodies sometimes) but often we pack those answers and put (hide) them neatly in some drawers in our brains. So as the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind.

Recently I went to free therapy workshops in Zagreb and, first of all, was fascinated to find out that such workshops were available in the middle of Europe and so close to the Balkan area, where we usually face strong emotions with silence, physical resilience by being occupied with work, or other coping mechanisms. Very pleasantly surprised that during the workshops with very delicate topics on the agenda, there were also male participants who actively shared their experiences with the rest of the group. That is my own bias: men don't share how they feel, especially in front of other people, let alone strangers. The whole concept of being open and vulnerable (don't make me say that word out loud) and being there for each other felt refreshing. It is necessary to mention that during the exercises there was an established rule that we were supposed to pair with people we saw for the first time.

A simple interpretation of what sharing a piece of your trauma(s) during group therapy looks like. Sketch by me.

The begging of each workshop started with a short introduction of ourselves to the group, followed by a physical ice-breaker in the shape of a dance or just physical awareness of your body and its movements. When was the last time you intentionally looked at a body part of yours (shoulders, hips, or chest), started gently tapping it with your open palms, and brought attention that they are awake, healthy, and ready for the day? I never did that until that day, and it felt weird but in the nicest way possible.

After the warm-up and letting go of the build-up of nervousness, the introduction of the topic started. For the first workshop, I attended, the subject was "Creating healthy boundaries", and the second one covered "The consequences of neglect in childhood" combined with "Traumatic bonding". All the topics are very complex and interesting to learn and explore as an observer for yourself and others. If you are an empath, prepare your tissues before attending such events.

Finding and unwrapping those neatly packaged answers is a slow and tiring process. If you ever consider attending a group or individual workshop regarding therapy, I would advise you to take the rest of the day for a nap and possibly let go of accumulated emotions. The workshop about healthy boundaries, was really helpful for me to figure out how those same affect my relationships with strangers, friends, family, and even business collaborators. The second workshop give an even deeper meaning to many questions I knew the answers to, but never faced head-on. I am still learning and exploring.

Healthy boundaries are those boundaries that are set to make sure mentally and emotionally you are stable - (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.). Another way to think about it is that, our boundaries might be rigid, loose, somewhere in between, or even nonexistent.
Different types of human boundaries. Healthy, limited, loose, or rigid.
Types of boundaries. Messy sketch by me.

I even went and passed the onboarding process of the BetterHelp website, so I could see how easy it is to get professional help with their platform. Probably I can create a short case study about that platform soon.

Eager to learn more about psychology and now, thanks to the workshops, also about the physical impact of trauma. I am also going to keep looking for other related workshops and books related to the topic of healing and self-improvement. This journey will be slow but very fruitful. I hope you have started yours as well. Thank you for reading (listening) until the end!

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