How Therapy Can Help You Personally and Creatively…
Have you ever thought about going to therapy? Maybe you have but the stigma of it all prevented you. Or maybe you’ve wondered how it can help you. In this episode, I (Phil Svitek) explore how the notions perpetuated in society are false and only make people person who probably already feels shitty spiral further because it debilitates them and their self worth. Therapy can actually unlock you personally and creatively if you allow it. It’s no coincidence that society is advocating mental health awareness. It’s time to listen. Discover all the possible ways you can benefit with me. In this lesson, I reference psychologist Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Men in Black, hypnotherapy, kinestheology, quantum energetic medicine, Dr. Steven Small and others. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe for more lessons. And please comment below with any myths you’ve heard about therapy. I’d be happy to dispel them. As always, thank you.
SELECT LINKS FROM EPISODE:
-How The Brain Works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4O_Wkv66b0
-Why Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect: https://philsvitek.com/why-practice-doesnt-make-perfect/
-Man’s Search For Meaning Book: https://amzn.to/2WhEZWK
-Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us
-Simply Psychology: https://www.simplypsychology.org/whatispsychology.html
-Forget the Past: https://philsvitek.com/let-the-past-die-kill-it-if-you-have-to/
-A Very LA Birthday Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9SHJaepE0c
-Adorama Affiliate Link: https://www.adorama.com/?utm_source=rflaid914115
Available Platforms to Watch/Listen to Show:
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One of the best ways to master mental fortitude is to go to therapy. If you’ve been tuning in regularly to this series you know I’m an advocate of everyone seeking therapy. But that wasn’t always the case.
There’s a lot of stigma that’s unfortunately associated with going to a psychologist. First off, many people still refer to them by the pejorative “quacks”. This insult, when examined, highlights this idea that only insane people seek out a mental health professional. Therefore if you are the one looking for help, you must be insane. If you weren’t you’d just be able to pull yourself out of whatever funk you’re in and move on. Clearly that’s not the case and is so, so wrong. What’s worse though is that because this notion is perpetuated in society, the person who probably already feels shitty then spirals further because they think to themselves that if they can’t help themselves they must be a loser. It becomes a value judgement against themselves.
I used to think this way. My whole life I’ve been praised for being smart, which is all well and good except when you can’t figure your own shit out in life. Then it becomes debilitating. I started to question everything around me, especially my self worth.
Allow me to showcase to you why all these myths are false and furthermore, how attending therapy can actually unlock you personally and creatively. And I don’t use that term unlock lightly. I really mean it can unlock you. But before I proceed, I invite you to comment with any other myths and stigmas you believe or have heard because I’m curious. I only scratched the surface with the ones I mentioned because I want to get to the benefits quicks in hope that I can alter your mind that way and see the positives of therapy. Also, if you haven’t yet subscribed to this show, I encourage you to do so now. Thank you if you just did.
Alright, let’s get into it.
A phrase I hear from certain people that makes me laugh is “I’m self aware.” Their confident attitude amuses me because if they were truly self aware, they’d know that they couldn’t even begin to be “self aware”. Science quantifies that about 12% of our thinking is conscious and the other 88% is subconscious. That’s far more than half. To be self aware means you’re conscious of all your actions. Clearly that’s not the case.
Think about it from a practical standpoint – do you think and tell your heart to beat over and over every second? You’re lying if you said yes. Your unconscious mind controls the heart. And it oversees countless other aspects of your life in the best of ways. Look at it from this perspective, would you really want to have expend thinking energy toward bodily functions versus your creative pursuits? I know I don’t. I’m grateful that my body automatically does these vital functions without my conscious state being involved. I’m free to use my conscious mind and focus it toward my goals. My passions. And so are you.
However, there’s a catch.
Beneath the surface, our unconscious mind controls more than just our blood flow or digestion system. It is also responsible for the core of who we are and how we act. Ever hear some say they’re just hard wired that way? I don’t think it’s an accidental term. Our brain contains billions of nerve cells arranged in patterns that coordinate based on electrical signals. That’s a very dumbed down version of it, but you get the idea. If you want a more fuller explanation, check out the link to a video I provided in the description box. The point being though that our unconscious mind, for better or worse, is our hard wiring. And what this means is that while we often think that we’re making a conscious decision, we’re usually not. We’re choosing something based on a set of rules, if you will, determined by the unconscious parts of ourselves.
The goal of therapy is to make you aware of these various patterns. By bringing them to light, you can begin to alter them. Or perhaps there’s aspects you’re happy with. Well then you can now knowingly reinforce them in your life. That’s where all the talk about good habits comes into play. For more on that, check out my video Why Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect.
In the most purest form, therapy allows you to gain an understanding of yourself. It’s a perspective shift which can expand your mind. It’s why I believe ignorance isn’t bliss. True wisdom comes from understanding and paying attention to yourself and the world around you, which is really one in the same. How you view yourself will dictate how you view your world. Expand your mind and you expand your capabilities. That’s really what you’re after.
“1500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” – Agent K from Men In Black
See, at no point should you look at therapy from a judgment perspective. The goal is not to stop being “bad” so you can be more “good”. It’s about understanding your behaviors and coming to terms with the parts of yourself you never knew.
One of the reasons many people go to therapy is to address a trauma in their life. This can be childhood trauma, it can be a painful breakup, survivor’s guilt, rape — you name it. Any one of those is an agonizing memory in that person’s life. Therapy helps to understand that torment. Only through perceptiveness can that harmful past be released from a person’s body and hopefully harnessed for positive use. Now, don’t get me wrong. I would never wish for anyone to suffer in this world. And yet, I know from my own experiences that the most difficult moments in my life have brought about the happiest of outcomes ultimately.
It’s all about how you see it and a psychologist can guide you to that. It’s no woo-woo bullshit or positive thinking. There’s a literal science to all of this. If you’re looking for evidence and inspiration of what I’m talking about because you don’t believe me, then look no further than Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. It is a memoir about his time spent in Nazi death camps, sharing its lessons for spiritual survival. Frankl argues that suffering can’t be avoided but we have the ability to cope with it if we so choose to do so. We can in fact find meaning in it and move forward with renewed purpose. And hey, I don’t know about you, but if a man who witnesses humanity in its most evil form can find a way to move past that trauma and find meaning, then I know I certainly can because my life is nowhere near as harsh as that.
That’s the wonderful thing about therapy though. It makes the seemingly impossible, possible. Consider this simple notion — when you think of something and tell yourself you can’t do something, your mind will take it as fact and engrain into its DNA. Not quite literally in this case, but metaphorically at least. However, if instead you ask yourself how can I do something then your mind automatically goes into solution mode. Amazing, isn’t it?
See, it’s all these little shifts that can unlock you. A better word for it though is tools. In life we all need the right tools to deal with things that come at us. Therapy provides this. And believe you me when I say that we could all benefit from therapy. As human beings we’re imperfect creatures. That’s okay, especially because part of being quintessentially human means we’re social creatures. We need other’s input and experience to help us navigate life.
And there’s many things that provide that for us: friends, family, books, movies, music, etc. That’s why I create the art that I do, in hopes that it serves someone else in some small way. And I’m sure it’s the same for you.
But therapy is ultimately a more concentrated, focused, educated and individual form of the above. Therapy is literally designed to help you overcome challenges. I cannot emphasis the individual nature of it enough. Every person is different and requires different tools to overcome what might otherwise be seemingly the same problem.
Which brings me to my final points about therapy. First, it’s just like dating. Not every therapist is going to work for you. There’s different personalities out there and you’re not going to mesh with every single one. Make an effort to learn about a therapist. Interview them beforehand and ask them how they best work with clients and see if it’s a style that you think would work for you. Chances are if you’re not feeling it, it won’t work.
And like with dating, you may kiss some ugly frogs before you find your prince or princess. If you try a therapist and it’s not a good fit, then break it off. No harm done.
Secondly, there’s all kinds of therapy out there. The one that I find most people think of is talk therapy. But there’s so many. For me, I actually go to a kinesiologist because I can’t lie or withhold information. What I mean by this is if I attended talk therapy, I know I simply wouldn’t open up about what’s really bothering me. Kinestheology is a form of therapy where my responses are triggered based on my muscles. My body doesn’t lie. I like that. Some people like hypnotherapy. There’s people like Dr. Steven Small who practice quantum energetic medicine. You’d be surprised at the varying schools of thoughts and methods. In the end, the preference depends solely on you. A good resource to check out is PsychologyToday.com.
In my final point, I really want to reiterate how important I think therapy is for everyone. Have you seen all the mental health awareness campaigns? I’m so glad that we as a society are bringing this issue to light. When I see so much violence in the world like school shootings or the ever increasing number of suicides, I can’t help but think how many of these instances could have been prevented with therapy. To me, therapy makes each of us more understanding, calm, tolerant, patient, etc. The world we live in is more connected than ever. Cultures and ideologies clash. We need tools to not have that happen. Even more so, the world around us is changing at lightning speed, unlike any other time in history. A fast shift like this leaves us disoriented so of course we need help to process our environment. Therapy helps with this, so don’t take it lightly. If you’re not seeing a therapist already, I highly encourage you to do so.
Now, if you’re someone who thinks therapy is expensive and only for the rich, well, you’ve bought into another myth. Therapy is for everyone. And there are affordable means of getting it. Work with your health insurance carrier to see who you can go to. Mental health is part of your health and you shouldn’t skimp out on it. It’s no different than how you should be getting at least one physical a year. It’s preventative. Additionally, your mental health impacts your physical health. If you are depressed, anxious and stressed all the time, it will take a toll on your body. You’re more likely to get sick. Not only that, you’ll get sick more often and in more severe ways. In my episode Forget the Past I mentioned a quote that goes, “Stress is a killer.” Well, I said it then and I’ll say it again. Stress really is a killer. So it’s up to you whether or not you want to let that stress consume you. Therapy provides you the alternative. It heals you. If it helps, I’m happy to talk about the benefits of my therapy sessions with you in the comment section if you have questions. So don’t be shy.
Okay, that’s a wrap. I hope this short episode provided you with a better understanding of therapy and why it’s important in your life. But don’t click away to another lesson just yet because I want to remind you that you can read the transcript of this episode and access other free resources on my website. Links are provided below. Also, I released a short film my friends and I made called A Very LA Birthday. It’s 5 minutes and it would mean a lot if you checked it out. And, if you happen to be a YouTuber, filmmaker, or podcaster in need of equipment, I recommend Adorama. It’s a great website that sells fantastic gear. And if you use the my affiliate link, which I’m provided below as well, I’ll get a kickback from them for sending you. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and therefore it’s a win-win-win. You get the equipment you need, I get your support and Adorama makes a sale. Lastly, a huge thank you to the people that helped make this episode possible. If you too would like to support this show, you can either head on over to my Patreon or sport some merch from my store. Thanks for tuning in. I’m @PhilSvitek on social media and I’ll see you next Wednesday with another lesson. Bye!