Diary of a trainee drama therapist : Week 1

Starting a new journey is always daunting. There are so many fears, anxieties, dreams, hopes, visions, and expectations. This journey is no different, and in some ways so much more.

It’s a journey into intense self discovery. Something that was never hidden from me throughout the interview and induction process, but one you don’t fully understand until you begin.

Lots of people talk about mental health. They talk of statistics and diseases/illnesses, treatments as well as the need to remove the stigma surrounding it. Training is nothing like that. It’s about you understanding yourself first, slowly bringing in the client as you develop.

It’s magical, because it means putting yourself into the position your clients will be in. The vulnerability, openness and development that comes from accepting your faults and starting to own them is scary and yet empowering.

I’ve always thought about the magic of therapy and it is what I thought it would be. It’s a chance to address everything you’ve encountered and find a way to grow, through it or despite of it – either way it needs addressing.

Of course, you learn techniques, psychological theories and applications, but it’s more about the relationship between you and your client, and you and yourself.

For a lot of people, our past is either a burden or a nostalgic feeling of wanting to go back. Every emotion is valid, but it also impinges on our ability to make most of the current moment. Therapy, for me, stops that. It forces me to address the past, accept the future and really live in the present; being grateful and willing to deal with whatever life hands to you.

I don’t see therapy as a threat or a sign of mental breakdown, its a spiritual and emotional way to accept yourself and your experiences. So many of us try to do this through our faith. Therapy just allows us to have the safe space and support of another human so we can really interact with our deepest fears and overcome them.

“Growing pains” are called that for a reason, it’s painful and uneasy, but the more you grow the more you can offer the world. I hope by the end of this training I will be able to offer everything I gain to whoever I encounter in my future as a professional in this field.

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