“The Work” vs Therapy… what’s the difference?

Questions, questions, questions…I love them! I love them because when someone asks me something, ( or I ask myself something) and I don’t know the answers… I get to go research… and I love digging !   “Are you a therapist?” “Are you a life-coach?” “What’s the difference between you and a therapist?”  “Can I see you and my therapist at the same time?”

We feel sad, we feel stressed, we’re having a hard time dealing, we just feel “off”. What do we do… we call our therapist of course! And we all have one! I saw my therapist constantly for 7 years. Sometimes I left feeling that he helped me, taught me good things and gave great advice for what I needed to do. And…sometimes I left feeling that I wasn’t helped at all, but I still went.  I am here to tell you my truth- and that the only thing that has relieved me of my stressful thoughts, my beliefs in a PTSD diagnosis,  anxiety, fear and stress is “The Work”. I didn’t know why it worked when I first starting doing it and I didn’t really care, all I knew is that it worked… it freaking worked!

As I’ve gotten older I’ve had this great desire to learn and educate myself. I have become fascinated by human behavior, the way the brain works, behavioral and cognitive therapy… etc, ( most likely due to my personal past experiences and ongoing pain associated with my story). So of course, I wanted to understand why exactly did “The Work” work for me in a way that 7 years of therapy didn’t. I came across the subject of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (a technique used by therapists) started reading all about it and was able to draw some sort of similarity  that made sense, [ sort of] . But… to my surprise they weren’t the same. I wanted to know why, and how are they different?

Here’s what I know… “The Work” works because you are the one who finds your truth. You are the one who answers the questions that are brought to you. You are the one who is able to change those neural pathways in your brain because you found your truth! When we do “The Work” we aren’t taught, we aren’t given advice from someone on what they think we should do to change, nor are we told  how we need to replace our negative thoughts with more positive thoughts. Thoughts come and go as natural as our breath. It is up to us to investigate the thoughts that hurt for true freedom rather than push them away only to try and make ourselves think of something else. We are the only ones who can set ourselves free!

I’ve read many things on the similarity and differences of CBT and The Work, below are references I found super interesting  and showed me why The Work works!