Threapy. Done Differently.

Give us a Call
03 9077 8194
Opening Hours
Mon - Sat - 09:00 - 18:00

The things I cling to when things get tough

The things I cling to when things get tough

I think that mostly when people come to therapy, they might think that the therapist that they’re working with has ‘all their shit together’ or that maybe things don’t get difficult or overwhelming for the person they’ve come to for support.  I’m here to tell you that’s most definitely NOT what it’s like.

  1. Shit happens to therapists too. In fact, I think that some of the most effective and supportive therapists are the ones who’ve had some really shitty things happen to them in their lives and have had to learn ways to cope and heal from those things.
  2. It’s our job to be what I think of as a ‘clear mirror’ for you. That’s not to say we don’t ever get triggered by things in session, but we have learned ways to address that with integrity.
  3. Speaking about integrity, I think it’s vital that therapists have their own therapists. Because we do have stuff that happens to us, and you can’t therapise (using that as a word even though I’m not sure it is) yourself.  Plus, it’s important to remember what it’s like to sit in the other chair in therapy.

So, stuff happens for us too.  And therapists need therapists.  But we also need to use in our personal lives the things that we talk about, study and share in our professional lives.  This week I thought I’d share with you some of the practiced thoughts, reframes, positive belief reminders that I have used, and continue to use, when things get tough in life and when I need practice what I preach!

Tomorrow is a new day

When I was a new (anxious) first-time mummy, beyond sleep-deprived and worried about my daughter having yet another high temperature and ear infection sitting with a locum GP crying my eyes out, he looked at me in the eyes and compassionately said, “Thea, tomorrow is a new day…it will feel different tomorrow.”  I think a big part of why that has stuck with me is that I really felt seen and heard, but I have clung to that message often in the last 17 years.  Because whilst things won’t always feel better tomorrow, things will feel different.  Whether it’s because of getting sleep, or just that feelings really do pass, situations change and so do our perspectives and capacity to cope, there is some comforting certainty in the message: tomorrow is a new day.

Exhale first

Whenever I’m anxious or overwhelmed I turn to my breath.  But instead of the unhelpfully misleading reminder ‘just breathe’ I focus on the exhale part of the breath because it’s the exhalation that down-regulates our nervous system and helps settle me down most quickly.  (The inhalation takes care of itself – and it drives upregulation so only makes things worse.)

Don’t believe everything you think

When my very busy mind runs away with itself, creating a whole bunch of catastrophic outcomes I remind myself that they are all just stories.  I remember that my brain is doing its job of coming up with all the various worst-case-scenarios to help keep me safe but that literally none of them are real and I don’t have to engage with them.

Change requires action

Just willing or wishing change to happen doesn’t do the business.  We’d all love to just have the change magically ‘happen’ but it really doesn’t happen that way.  I presented at a conference back in 2016 and said, “You see, change doesn’t come from some omnipotent superpower in the sky. Change doesn’t come when unicorns fly above us farting rainbows. Change comes when regular people hold up their hands, use their voice and own their story.  Change requires action.”  Which means it requires effort and sometimes that’s hard.  It leaves us feeling vulnerable.  But that’s what change requires.

Just be a good human

This is the baseline of behaviour as far as I’m concerned.  If I’m not dealing well with traffic on the road or people dawdling in the shopping centre I remind myself ‘just be a good human’.




 If you need support around to help you figure out the things you need to cling to in hard times, we have a team of experienced therapists at Thea Baker Wellbeing – please reach out to us at: / 03 9077 8194.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *