You’ve dreamed of living in New York City for as long as you can remember. You’ve watched it serve as a character in more movies and television shows than you can count. It’s the muse for all of your favorite songs, and you already know what part of the city you want to claim as your own.
Then you actually move here, and you realize that maybe this place you’ve romanticized for so long isn’t exactly all you thought it would be. You may even find yourself struggling. Therapy may be what you need, and here’s a guide to finding it in the Big Apple.
Signs that therapy may be right for you
Moving anywhere can make life harder regardless of the location. The stress that comes with the move itself, the money put into it, and the goodbyes you give — all of these can bring you down before you even get to NYC. These situations can create a sense of anxiety about the unknown and the fear of not being able to take care of yourself. After all, moving is expensive, but so is simply living in the city.
Leaving what may have been your only home and all the people you’ve known in your life thus far can be especially jarring. And while it’s tempting to look at the near nine million people that live in the five boroughs as nine million opportunities for new friends and family, the inverse can be true as well: that’s a lot of chances for rejection and feeling lonely and disconnected from the millions of people around you.
Navigating the streets and subways of New York can bring about their own special kind of anxiety, too. Leaving the subway at the wrong stop can throw off the rest of your day completely, or make you doubt how well you can navigate the city. It can skew your perceptions of your new home, as your expectations may not be met, or your dreams not realized, if something isn’t exactly where you thought it would be. Especially if it isn’t even what you thought it was like in real life — because no, that one fountain in Central Park isn’t the fountain in the Friends opening sequence like everybody assumes.
What therapy can do for you
Therapy won’t solve all your problems, nor will it plop you down into the middle of a new, fully-realized and perfect life. What it can do for you, though, is help you manage expectations, find coping strategies for your daily life, and pinpoint what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to develop or work through them, respectively.
The first step is finding an office that specializes in therapy in New York. There are many different kinds of treatments, and you need to find one that you’re comfortable with and that you think will help you to reach your goals. Is a faith-based plan going to bring you solace? Or would someone who can help with a specific kind of trauma be the secret sauce to making your life-change more bearable and exciting? It can take time to find the right doctor, so don’t get discouraged if the first one isn’t exactly the right fit.
After finding the right therapist, you can work together on what the root cause of your unhappiness is. Are you struggling with your expectations versus your reality? Is the new career not what you saw yourself doing and you don’t love it so far? Are you simply overwhelmed by the sheer amount of change you’ve experienced in a short amount of time? These are all things you can work through and create strategies for with a licensed therapist.
Moving to the city that never sleeps can be a daunting experience for the most worldly of souls. Therapeutic services can help you to overcome this and thrive.