Is Therapy For You?

Have you ever wondered if therapy might be for you?

I’ll start by saying that I am not currently seeing a therapist, nor do I assume to know anything about therapy, really. I am, possibly like some readers today, just pondering the possibility of seeking a little assistance. In light of the new year and a heavy self-reflection of 2015, I am trying to be brutally honest with myself…y’know, wear my heart on my sleeve…look into the dark corners that have been ignored for the last 20 years. All my life experiences  — both the wonderful and the ugly — have taken up considerable space, and I’ve found that I molded myself accordingly. I’ve had pain in my life, therefore I have walls…guarded with little defensive monsters that sometimes aren’t so nice or smart…or cute. But all joking aside, pain piles up and gets pushed down inside of us, and ultimately (and sometimes unknowingly) creeps out in various ways.

Lately, therapy is a topic constantly shared among my friends and me. Why? Well, I’m not too sure. Maybe it’s the holidays or wanting to start fresh in the new year, but I think we’re all a little tired of feeling like a product of our circumstance. We want to feel empowered, to take control of ourselves in the most healthy way possible. And if counseling will help us do that, then we’ll explore it.

Haley, one of my dear friends (who you’ve actually met before here) starting going to therapy when she was a teenager. She went for eight years, on and off, and then stopped cold turkey. “I thought I was ‘fixed.’ And as I became an adult, I was able to navigate life pretty easily and it became less necessary,” she recalls. But as we all know, life unfolds in the most unexpected of ways and experiences can begin to pile up once again. Now 20 years later, she has graciously opened up and is sharing her story:

“After countless failed relationships, a short stint in a mind-altering philosophy and countless incomplete tasks piling up around me, I started to feel like I fell down a well — no rope, no hope. I was too ashamed to say the word, but too tired to hide it any longer. I couldn’t talk about it with my family, my closest friends. I couldn’t even say it aloud. IT was bigger than me.  It is my battle with severe depression. Admitting that I have something inside me that can take me down without a moment’s notice, something that tells me lies, isolates me,  keeps me on a roller coaster of highs and lows, something that can drag me down so slowly that I wake up one day feeling as though I weigh 500 pounds. Let it all burn down around me…I cannot move.

“My depression was tearing my relationship apart, and my boyfriend (albeit, terrified by the sight of this sack of tears) told me to talk to someone — anyone — but most especially my best friend (yeah you, Joanna) and let her see. When I talked to her, she didn’t give me advice, tell me that this is “normal”, that it’s hormones, or the season…all the things that people said to me before. All the things to dismiss how badly I was hurting, and make me even more ashamed. She just listened. She sat with me. She let me cry, but never left my side. Having a witness was like looking into a mirror for the first time and I decided I didn’t want to live this way anymore.  I asked around, I picked up a phone, I found the money and I drove to see a therapist. All from someone who couldn’t get up to walk her dog. I had hit rock bottom but I scooped up the last bit of fight I had in me. 

“I’m four weeks into cognitive therapy with a holistic approach. I get nervous every time, as if she’s going to tell me I’m broken, and I can’t be fixed. But she doesn’t.  She gives me meditation exercises, refocusing tools and, most importantly, hope. I wish I could give a more climactic, perfect wrap-up to this story, but to be able to share this, to put my name on it, to let anyone else who feels this way know that there is hope out there, that’s a pretty fantastic ending. 

I don’t know if therapy is right for everyone, but I know that if you’re suffering — I know for a fact — you deserve better, and it’s a great place to start.”


Haley is one of the strongest women I know, and I am so proud of her for sharing her story. She made it a point to share her name and her fashion business because she wants to put it all out there — “no more shame!” she says. If this resonates with you or a loved one, know that you are not alone, that there is help out there, and you are strong enough to ask for it. If you need to speak with anyone immediately, please check out this website. Therapy is not just for those seeking mental health, but also encourages personal (and personality) growth, emotional management, relationships and family life.

For information on an array of therapy treatments, please read this article from

+Life isn’t always pretty, and sometimes our seemingly insolvable emotional messes may feel too heavy to lift. Know that this is not the case, and that help is just a phone call away. 

Thank you again, Haley, for your beautiful honesty. Follow her on Instagram.

Follow Joanna on Instagram.


  1. I wish going to therapy was something more socially acceptable. I also wish it didn’t cost a lot of money… those who need it most often can’t pay.

  2. Let me start by stating I read this blog almost every morning; I find the inspiration articles, well, “inspirational”. That being said, I thought this post moving.
    I myself am a therapist working mostly with trauma and the symptoms that tend to spread from its experience. I am relieved to know that persons such as you all are becoming more open to the concept and practice of therapy.
    It is a challenging though fulfilling road if approached with openness and transparency to what is happening whether inside or outside of you. I thank you that you have shared with us that you are going down this path of interpersonal awareness and wellness.
    I look forward to listening more on this growth; it sounds like you have an amazing support system and the therapist being worked with knows his or her practice well enough to integrate holistic and relaxation approaches to cognitive therapy (an evidence based intervention).
    Remember that this therapeutic journey is a collaboration of many facets (though I am sure this therapist has assured this already). Good luck and safe travels.

  3. This is so important! Thank you free people and thank you, Haley. It’s so assuring and nice to come across this honesty and kindness just browsing one of my fav blogs. I love that free people puts out content to nurture your body and soul, and doesn’t sugarcoat things.

  4. Thank you all for the comments! What a scary thing to put out there, and the Free People readers are the most open-hearted down-to-earth out there,:) Thanks Joanna and FP, I love that you guys embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and the fashion…really changing the game as a company!

  5. First, brava, Haley!
    Second, I love that this article was in the “beauty” category. Seeking inner health and being a beautiful person on the inside:) It just makes me happy. This whole article’s existence makes me happy. You guys make me happy.
    Third, I’d like to add that most heath insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicade, according to people I know who have those plans, include mental health care. It might not cover extended stays at swanky rehab facilities, but seeing a therapist weekly for 45 minutes should only cost a co-pay. I also know people who can’t afford the $15 co-pay, and one who has worked something out with his therapist to pay that portion when he can (when he gets extra shifts at work.)
    There are also places where one can seek out therapy for free: most colleges have mental health care if you’re a student, staff member, or faculty member. I know that RVAP and DVIP (the rape victim advocacy program and the domestic violence intervention program) in my town both provide therapy for people who are working with them/ living at the women’s shelter/ etc. Try calling a local crisis line or asking at your local library if you need help and can’t figure out how to find it.
    Fourth, it’s scary to start therapy sometimes, especially if you want to examine old wounds. Know that you can meet multiple therapists with different styles and personalities before you pick one to see regularly; not everyone gets along with every therapist, and that’s okay. Also, you can talk to your therapist about your relationship, building trust, etc., even if you’ve never had a conversation like that before. “I’m scared” or “This is new to me” or “What are we going to do in therapy?” are all valid. They’re a professional therapist; if they do anything besides listen to you and respond honestly and with understanding/ empathy, the world has turned upside down.
    On that note, it took me six months to tell my therapist why I was in therapy, but that was okay. I had a lot of shame and fear to get through first. And I did. Therapy has helped me a lot, and I’d recommend it for anyone looking to make changes in their life. If you’re prepared to walk through that door and be even a little honest with yourself, then therapy is for you. (You can always try it and then stop if you don’t like it; what’s it going to hurt, really?)
    Okay, last thing, I promise: I finally get to toot my own horn a little bit. If you want to learn more about MY story and my journey with therapy, check out my blog at (Please don’t be put off by the violent title. It’s a literary reference.)

  6. This is beautiful. The way Haley describes her depression is very real, and very relatable. I know this feeling personally, and sometimes the best thing to do is to talk it out. Too many emotions inside that need to get out, and words are a great conduit of energy to release. I am an acupuncturist and it is a medicine that has helped me a lot in so many ways, and I hope to share it with other people as well, as it helps a lot with mental and emotional health. I have realized some people just really need to talk and share their story. It is a very healing modality. Thank you for the wise words.

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