You might not think therapy has anything to do with your parenting journey but that’s not entirely true. There are tremendous benefits for parents who choose to participate in therapy. When you’re a busy parent it might not feel like there’s time, but in some cases it can actually free up more time and reduce your stress in a meaningful way. Here are some reasons why going to therapy is helpful for parents:
Sometimes you need to talk to someone whose idea of problem solving doesn’t involve a tantrum in a grocery store aisle. There can be a lot of isolation that comes from those early years and therapy can help break through some of those barriers. It can at least get the ball rolling towards better conversations at a higher than floor level.
Stress impairs our ability to make good decisions. Dr. Dan Siegel explains it in this helpful video. If you can work through stress by talking things out, you will have the bandwidth to make better parenting choices and build resilience to withstand future grocery store meltdowns with a little more patience. Parenting is stressful and having an outlet can be really helpful.
So much dysfunction gets handed down between generations, like fine china used to be. Spending time in therapy helps you learn not to make the same mistakes your parents made and that their parents made. When you break cycles in your family you give your kids different life choices and different experiences than what you had. Whether it’s violence, diet culture, unhealthy relationships or an inability to connect, you can break cycles with professional help.
Talking to a therapist can help you contextualize what is normal baby blues, what might be postpartum depression, what’s normal expression of frustration and where intervention might be helpful. Having an outside voice speaking truth and leading you to a different understanding of your experience can help make sense of a confusing time period marked with hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and more chicken nuggets than you would otherwise have consumed.
We’ve talked before about how self care is more than bubble baths. Therapy is another form of self care. Parents really need to take care of themselves because raising kids is really hard work. Modelling taking time to take care of yourself with therapy is a great example to set for your kids. Having someone to talk to can reduce the depletion that can come from caregiving and teach you other ways you can fill your “tank” between sessions. You wouldn’t let your baby sit in soiled diapers for long, why let yourself sit with difficult feelings for longer than you need to?
There are so many reasons why going to therapy is helpful for parents and Wellin5 can match you with a counsellor that specializes in parental or relationship counselling. You don’t have to walk this parenting road alone; we’re here to help. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your parenting journey so far and how can we help you work through it?