People don’t judge trees for coming in different sizes, colors, or other traits… so why do people judge other people for such reasons? Just as all types of trees are beautiful in their own ways and have something positive to contribute to the environment, all types of people are beautiful in their own ways and have gifts to contribute to the world.

 

Understanding why you feel different

We live in a culture where all you have to do is turn on the television to see within the span of a few commercials that we’re all expected to be a certain way. We’re constantly sent messages that we’re supposed to be thin, straight, current with the latest trends, and wealthy enough to be able to keep up with the latest technology. 

But maybe you’re not thin, straight, trendy, or wealthy. Or maybe you fit in with others in those areas but feel different in other ones, such as having different spiritual views or choosing to live an alternative lifestyle

You may also feel different if you have experienced abuse. The abuse feels like a big scarlet letter “A” painted on your forehead that lets everyone know that horrible things happened to you. 

Here are some other examples of the kinds of outsiders and non-conformists that I help learn to embrace their uniqueness:

  • People who identify as LGBTQ+
  • People with alternative religions or spiritual views
  • People who are atheist or otherwise do not identify as religious or spiritual
  • People who are vegan
  • People who are social or political activists
  • People who feel that they look different, such as being overweight or have a physical disability or just choose to dress an unconventional way
  • People whose interests and hobbies are not mainstream
  • Adults who are childless by choice

 

Feeling different is not always a bad thing,

but it feels lonely sometimes

Sometimes feeling different is something that is imposed on us, like when you have been abused, bullied, or judged. In those situations, other peoples’ actions cause you to feel different.

There are other times, though, that you like being different. You are proud that you don’t look or act like most people, or you are glad that you like things that are not popular. But sometimes you feel lonely being so unique. Sometimes you just wish more people understood you and your passions.

 

How therapy can help

Therapy can help you embrace what sets you apart from others in many ways, such as helping you to:

  • Learn self-compassion
  • Increase self-esteem and confidence
  • Identify your strengths (especially ones that may have come from things that made you feel different, such as abuse or having been bullied)
  • Learn how to identify supportive people who will also embrace your uniqueness
  • Learn how to speak up for yourself

 

For children and teens

I can help if your child or teen:

  • Identifies as being different from peers
  • Has been bullied for being different from peers
  • Is at risk of being bullied because of being different from peers
  • Needs help with social skills, sticking up for themselves, or self-esteem

I make therapy feel like a safe, fun place to explore their feelings and thoughts. My drama therapy background allows me to use techniques that make children and teens want to engage in therapy instead of just talking about their problems. I use toys, puppets, masks, art, and games to help them express themselves in a way that is better for their age and maturity level than just talking. Feel free to learn more about my drama therapy work on my drama therapy page or on my blog starting with this article.

 

For adults

As mentioned above, I help clients learn to see their differences as a positive thing instead of a burden. I help them feel more connected to themselves and others

My drama therapy background allows me to use creative techniques in addition to talking during sessions. Sometimes I ask my clients to explore roles they play in real life, create and explore masks or other art, or use poetry or other creative writing. You can learn more about my drama therapy work on my drama therapy page or on my blog starting with this article

 

Contact me

If you are ready to embrace your uniqueness and unapologetically be wonderful you, please contact me for a free 15 minute consultation