Overcoming the Hurdles: Starting Therapy and Embracing Mental Wellbeing
Embarking on the journey of therapy can be a transformative and healing experience, yet it’s not uncommon to encounter reservations and fears along the way. In this blog post, we will explore the reservations someone might have about starting therapy, discuss normal responses to recognizing the need for therapy, and offer practical strategies to overcome the fear of seeking professional help.
Reservations About Starting Therapy
Stigma: Society’s lingering stigma surrounding mental health can deter individuals from seeking therapy. Fear of judgment or being labeled “crazy” often prevents people from reaching out for support.
Vulnerability: Opening up to a therapist means exposing one’s innermost thoughts and feelings. This level of vulnerability can be intimidating and uncomfortable.
Fear of Change: Therapy may require confronting painful truths, making difficult decisions, or altering long-standing behaviors. This fear of change can be paralyzing.
Cost: Concerns about the financial aspect of therapy can be a significant barrier. Therapy is an investment in your well-being, but it can be daunting to commit to the financial aspect.
Lack of Trust: Trusting a stranger with your innermost thoughts can be difficult, especially if you’ve experienced betrayal or trauma in the past.
Not Knowing Where to Start: The mental health field can be overwhelming, and not knowing where to begin the process of finding the right therapist can be discouraging.
Normal Responses to Needing Therapy
Denial: Many individuals initially deny or minimize their mental health struggles. Acknowledging the need for therapy can take time and self-reflection.
Shame and Guilt: Feelings of shame or guilt about one’s struggles can make it challenging to reach out for help. It’s important to remember that seeking therapy is a courageous step towards healing.
Fear of Judgment: Worries about what others may think if they discover you’re in therapy can be a common concern. However, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being over the opinions of others.
Uncertainty: Not knowing what to expect from therapy or whether it will work can generate anxiety and uncertainty.
Overcoming the Fear of Starting Therapy
Normalize Your Feelings: Understand that reservations and fears about therapy are entirely normal. Accepting these feelings as part of the process can help reduce their power over you.
Educate Yourself: Learning about therapy and its benefits can demystify the process. Knowing what to expect can alleviate anxiety.
Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, or healthcare professionals for therapist recommendations. Finding a therapist with whom you feel comfortable is crucial.
Start Slowly: If the idea of full-fledged therapy is overwhelming, consider starting with support groups or online resources. These can serve as stepping stones toward seeking professional help.
Challenge Stigma: Challenge the stigma surrounding mental health within yourself and in your social circles. Open conversations about mental health can help normalize the idea of seeking therapy.
Focus on Self-Compassion: Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that seeking help is a courageous act of self-care. You deserve support and healing.
Set Small Goals: Break down the process into manageable steps. Begin by researching therapists, making initial inquiries, or scheduling a consultation.
Starting therapy can be a transformative and healing journey, but it’s entirely normal to have reservations and fears about it. Recognize that these feelings are a natural part of the process. Overcoming the fear of starting therapy requires self-compassion, education, and seeking support from trusted sources. Remember that seeking therapy is a courageous step toward improving your mental well-being and building a happier, healthier future.