1. How to self analyse. Perhaps the most useful thing therapy taught me, was the ability to be self sufficient in uncovering my trauma, destructive patterns and barriers to progression. In doing so, after 4 years of struggling to scrap up cash for sessions, I am finally able to do the basics on my own.

2. Creative problem solving. As a result of the above, I have had to tackle a myriad of issues in various ways, both inside and outside the therapy room. I am able to use this ability in many areas if my life.

3. How to understand other people better than they do. This is especially true with personal relationships. The closer I am to someone, the more I understand why they say, do and think the way they do. On a few occasions I have given advice (when asked) or made accurate ‘guesses’ that have largely led to the cold front or utter shock at my accuracy. At best, I leave people thinking and aiming for a better self. At worst, people clam up. Oh how they dislike the boot on the other foot.

4. Increased intuition. I have been intuitively inclined from a young age, this talent has even made me money but my ability to read others based on a few short observations has multiplied this skill. This can of course be contributed to early childhood trauma also.

5. Never judge another, we all have issues. Most people are sitting on a crap pile bigger than the Sahara.

6. Always tell the truth. Keeping secrets and protecting others is not always the best thing to do. Secrets ruins families and secrets ruin childhoods and secrets destroy potential.

7. Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can drugs, food or flowers. If money could make a person happy, therapy would be the be all end all and everyone would be doing it. Happiness really is an inside job. What you do with your time in and out of therapy is down to you. Unpack, rearrange, move on and choose happiness.

8. Some therapists should not be in the business. Some literally teach you nothing. They want you to keep coming back and employing them to do precisely that; nothing. Others over analyse and push to hard to soon. I had one therapist who questioned why I was holding my wrist during a conversation. I said there was no reason, I just position my hands like that when seated slightly forward. She insisted there was more to it, leaving me in doubt of my sanity and paranoid of how I sit.

9. Things really do get worse before they get better and eventually what was good can become toxic. Before something like trauma surfaces, things will seemingly get unbearable and you’ll want to stop. Then once it’s out you’ll feel relieved. Then after a while the constant effort week after week will become a form of destructive habit and you’ll be dependant but you won’t know that until you try to stop.

10. How to love unconditionally. Sometimes you have to learn to love someone who abused you and forgive them without a sorry. Why? For your sanity.

Therapy is long learning curve. There are different types and some may make things to intense and others may have no helpful effect at all. You may go through multiple therapies and therapists before you make progress.

The process takes time and you won’t get anywhere on a few sessions spanned out across a now and then.

If you want to get the most out of therapy, be prepared to work for recovery, pay for your time, utilise the skills outside the safe space and most of all, be the willing and dedicated student of self.