3 Takeaways From 7 Months in Therapy

Imani Simpson
3 min readJul 17, 2021


Spoiler: It’s nothing like the memes from Instagram

Photo by Sam Kaplan

Picture paying a lot of money to someone that will expose your flaws, challenge your thinking, and occasionally — make you cry. It’s called a breakthrough. Therapy requires deep self-work and is expensive in more than one way. I’ve left sessions feeling exhausted and questioning my sanity.
Yes it’s worth it.

Here are 3 top takeaways from 7 months in therapy

1. Identify your values
2. Know your boundaries
3. Don’t apologize for being you

Identify Your Values

How much do you believe in what you tell other people? How much do you believe in what you tell yourself? Your response doesn’t hold the truth. Your actions do. Identifying personal values means highlighting your current behavior and comparing it to your healthiest behavior. Then adjusting your behavior to meet the healthier version of you.

There’s this card game called We’re Not Really Strangers you’ll be hard pressed to find another game like it. The questions are framed so direct that it can feel like a gut punch when someone asks you

Is there anything you’re lying to yourself about?

Process that. You can only be honest with yourself when you stop running from yourself. Through introspecting your values become apparent. The answer → What do you spend the most time doing? Who do you spend the most time with? What do you do in your free time? Where do your thoughts wander midday? What keeps you up at night? Answer honestly.

What I’m learning: I place a high value on my health, my career, and love. So naturally my time is spent on achieving/maintaining this. Much easier to say no to distractions when you’re clear on what you truly value.

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.” — Greg McKeown

Know Your Boundaries 🔑🔑🔑

Major Key. Learning this is truly life-changing. I’ve met so many people who don’t understand the concept of boundaries. Or they do but wish they had learned what a boundary was sooner!

Here’s an example:
Friend: Hey do you wanna go out tonight?
You: Sure but I have to wake up early so no drinking!
Friend: Okay well let’s go to the bar anyway.
You: Okay but not going to drink I’m teaching a workout class in the morning.
*Arrives at bar*
Friend: Just have one!
You: I said no I’m not drinking. ✅
You: Okay just one ❌

If you’ve ever been in a situation synomous to this then you know the negative consequence of giving in i.e. waking up hungover, teaching a subpar workout, students dropping out of your class. Peer pressure is real but standing on your decision and sticking to your values are the positive consequences of setting boundaries. Follow your rules.

We set boundaries because we know the pain from not setting them.

Don’t Apologize For Being You

As a black woman I’ve been in spaces where I naturally felt sorry for being black and/or being a woman. Crazy right? I felt apologetic because I didn’t want to be perceived as difficult, bossy or as “having an attitude problem”. So I would say..

I’m sorry guess I’m not good enough
I’m sorry this makes me uncomfortable I’ll try harder
Sorry if that’s too much I wont negotiate my salary
Okay sorry I’ll settle for this…

BTW not sorry. Most situations don’t warrant an apology but they do require reframing. Seek win-wins but when in doubt prioritize your energy.

For me, therapy helps rebuild a healthier foundation for the relationship I have with myself. Without feeling guilty for wanting a deeper connection with myself. Regardless of what family, friends or otherwise think. If someone doesn’t recognize your worth that does not make you any less worthy.

You deserve value because you are inherently valuable.