It is often said that the most difficult yet important step in dealing with any trouble is acknowledging its existence. Which is definitely true, but this doesn’t mean that having decided to seek therapy, you’ll immediately start feeling so much better about the whole problem. Quite to the contrary in fact, as realising that you might have never gone through such a process in the past, anxiety and fear of the unknown are surely leaving you feel somewhat daunted.
Whether you are just out of alcohol rehab or you’re dealing with anxiety, relationship issues or addiction, you’ll usually find a number of conflicting information and opinions when it comes to seeking therapy. Every time you hear something that makes you feel good about therapy, you hear something else that usually puts you on edge. Hence, it’s not a surprise that a number of people who would benefit enormously from professional therapy brush off the idea entirely, having been provided misleading information in terms of what they can expect. A very unfortunate scenario to say the least.
So for the benefit of anybody actively thinking about therapy though having a few worries about what exactly to expect, here is a quick overview of the most common concerns and the respective facts behind them:
I don’t want to upset my friends and family
First and foremost, while it’s entirely understandable to want to offer protection to friends and family members from anything even remotely unpleasant, doing so in this instance could be counterproductive. The reason is that when you honestly think about it, you yourself would never want a loved one to bottle up a serious problem that is detrimentally affecting their life. You wouldn’t be very happy to realise that they felt they could not come to you with their problems and turn to you for support. So while it’s fair to say that bringing a problem out into the open may upset friends and family, you may also discover that doing so can make the whole situation much easier to deal with. Not only this, but you’ll also eliminate the risk of them finding out further down the line and feeling hurt about being kept in the dark earlier.
I don’t want others to think I’m weak
There’s sometimes nothing more challenging in life than accepting the fact that you need assistance with a personal problem. Pretending things are fine when they are actually not is usually far more of a sign of weakness than acknowledging you have a problem and working towards fixing it. Therefore, you’d be surprised just how much respect you can earn by regaining control of the situation that is bothering you and addressing it. The only people who would think you are weak are small-minded and misguided people you don’t want in your life anyway.
What if the therapist says I am crazy?
Put simply, this is never going to happen. The simple reason being that in this type of industry the word “crazy” has no meaning whatsoever. When you approach a therapist for professional help, you do so in order to deal with a certain issue. Every problem has its cause, effects and solution, which can be clarified during the therapy process. No real therapist will ever tell a client they’re crazy.
I don’t want to be prescribed medication
Contrary to common assumption, it is in fact relatively rare for individuals undergoing professional therapy to be prescribed drugs. What happens more often than not is that drugs are prescribed only as something of a last resort and are never compulsory. These days, there are endless avenues and methods to explore in terms of seeking potential solutions that don’t involve drugs of any kind. If you aren’t comfortable with the thought of taking medication, you don’t have to take any.
I worry my troubles will not be taken seriously
It’s only human to worry that your own problems are in a way insignificant and can never be compared to the much more severe issues of other people. In terms of professional therapy however, comparing your troubles with the ones of other people is counterproductive as no two individuals or problems are entirely the same. If it is something that is affecting your life in a negative way even slightly, it is a problem that is valid and no respectable therapist will ever make you feel as if your issues are not serious or worth talking about.
What if the therapy sessions are intimidating?
Last up, therapists and counsellors the world over are constantly aware of the fact that most people turning to therapy for the first time feel quite intimidated and daunted. Therefore, all possible efforts are being made to ensure the sessions are the opposite of intimidating or scary. So, it is 100% guaranteed that even after one session, your thoughts and opinions on how therapy works will most likely be forever changed.