How I Ended Up In Therapy

Written and submitted by Ray Hasbollah.




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‘Personal development’ is a concept that’s of great importance to me. I first discovered this field when it was taught to me in college, and when I returned as a lecturer I made it a point to ask that some of those modules be assigned to me so I could teach it myself. I ended up teaching it to quite a few cohorts from 2012-2015.

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Underneath all the fluff that you tend to see in the self-help world, there is a lot of personal power to be had. To me, to engage in ‘personal development’ means to develop self-awareness and understand yourself as you are, to accept the good and the bad that you find inside yourself, and then to work towards evolving in whatever way you see fit.

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It’s been over a decade since my first personal development class, and through the years, the ups and downs, the triumphs and tragedies of life, I believe that I have developed a heightened level of self-awareness and self-acceptance. These abilities have helped me resolve what can be called ’emotional baggage’ and other issues so that I can inch closer to being exactly the man that I want to be.

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2018 was a year full of realizations and tough decisions. One of those realizations was that my knowledge and ability to work on myself was limited. I have made great progress since Age 17, but a lot of those breakthroughs took a bloody long time to achieve, and if I’m being honest, some of them were achieved completely by accident.

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With that in mind, I decided that I could benefit greatly from hiring an expert, a consultant who could advise me. At this point, I had already proven to myself that I was willing to do the emotional work, no matter how tough or painful it may be. I just needed someone to help me clear the air and point me in the right direction. Given that I was dealing with matters of the mind and of emotions, I realized that what I needed was a therapist.

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I decided that this was what I needed to do, but I was still not so keen about walking into a therapist/psychiatrist’s office. A little bit of it was because I didn’t want to be seen by other people who might not understand these kinds of things, but for the most part, I didn’t like the idea of paying for just one hour of a therapist’s attention for what, two or three sessions a month? Not worth it. I needed more.

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I spent weeks contemplating solutions, researching therapists around the city, and then I discovered that online therapy was a thing. Sign up for a platform, answer a few questions, get matched with a therapist. I could text my therapist as much as I wanted (though she’d reply later, given the time zone differences), and I could even schedule Skype calls with her, though that’s not really my thing.

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The whole texting thing was perfect for me since I always communicated best through text. My first therapist wasn’t so good. She acknowledged everything I was telling her about my life, but she didn’t really move the conversation forward. Felt like I was talking to a wall (who responded with short sentences). It was easy to switch her out with someone else and lucky for me, my second therapist was really good. I’ve been working with her for almost a year now. Their therapists are legit, too. Their profiles carry their license numbers which you can cross-check yourself online.

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As I said before, I view therapy as hiring an expert, a coach, onto your team. This lady has become an indispensable part of “Team Ray”, and the funniest part is that I’ve never met her in person and I probably never will. The number of major breakthroughs I’ve had so far, I can’t even count. But to give you a sense of things, working with her has helped me resolve the many important issues revolving around my late father’s passing; issues that I never really processed and dealt with up until last year, six years after his death.

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This stuff doesn’t come cheap, but luckily they do offer financial aid (basically, discounts), and if you milk it for all its worth, the money you pay seems well worth it in the end.

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One of the core beliefs that I’ve had throughout most of my life is that I am self-aware and capable enough to deal with whatever problems I have, emotional or otherwise. While I have proven this belief to myself time and time again, I accept that I am much more effective in doing so when I have someone backing me up, and getting a therapist is my way of recruiting that backup.

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The platform I’ve been using is called Betterhelp, and if its something that might be of value to you, you should check it out.

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[Full disclosure: attached is my referral link. If you sign up, use this link and we both get a week free.]

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