By Joseph Tropper, LCPC and Fraida Cohen, BA
“I should really talk to someone about what’s on my mind…” Sound familiar? We all have our reasons for not seeking help when we know we can really use it. Even when we’re struggling and want to reach out for help, it may seem impossible to take the next steps.
This article comes to dispel the top 10 fears and misconceptions people have about therapy. Perhaps you can relate to some or all of the items. Looking at this list may prove enlightening and helpful in taking the next steps.
Why People Delay
So why don’t more people try therapy? At the root of what prevents people from seeking therapy are several fears. At first glance these fears may seem daunting, but we at RCC invite you to take a closer look, and discover the truth about therapy.
1- Doubt– “Will therapy actually work?”
A: Our practice has successfully helped hundreds of people. While we cannot guarantee that therapy will work in every case, we can assure you that with motivation and effort on your part, you will likely see results. It takes two to tango – you need a good therapist but you yourself also need to be invested in the process. If you keep an open mind, work to take care of yourself based on the professional suggestions you will receive, you will find our staff more than dedicated to your needs and helpful in giving support, guidance and encouragement.
2- Diagnosis – “Does going to therapy mean that I am crazy?”
A: There is nobody on earth who doesn’t experience difficulty at some time in life. At RCC we look beyond labels and focus instead on people, not problems. Getting the support you need for smaller troubles will help prevent them from becoming big troubles. You will learn that you are going through normal experiences in life, or perhaps abnormal, but you will get help in learning new coping skills in order to grow.
3- Distraction – “I have too much going on in my life to think about going for therapy”
A: Unfortunately, problems left alone don’t go away on their own. It may seem easier to fall into distractions when we are experiencing difficulty, but problems may become too big to handle before you know it. Delaying therapy because of lack of time is like eating unhealthy and not exercising due to lack of time to take care of yourself, it will only come back to haunt you. When a client says, “I‘m too busy with my problems to get help for my problems!” We say, “You are a perfect candidate for therapy, let’s begin.”
4- Differential of Power – “I don’t want someone else to tell me what to do.”
A: It’s your life, and a therapist is not there to force you into anything that you don’t agree with. A good therapist will thoroughly and objectively examine your circumstances with you, and help you come to the most effective course of action. Therapists are also professionally trained and will use their knowledge to help you make informed decisions. At RCC your happiness and satisfaction are of utmost importance to us and your opinion and feelings will always be respected.
5- Distrust – “How can I trust someone I don’t know with my deepest feelings and struggles?”
A: Therapists are trained professionals who have chosen to dedicate their lives to helping others live happier and more satisfying lives. Sensitivity, respect and confidentiality are our trademark values at RCC and our therapists and staff will quickly gain your trust.
6- Distance – “I can’t find a good therapist near my home or work and the times don’t work out.”
A: We are located in a convenient spot that most of our clients find to be very central. We have Sunday, evening and regular daytime hours and can usually accommodate your busy needs. Give us a call or visit our site and we can go over scheduling options with you.
7- Deserter – “I feel that it would be selfish to leave my family to get help”
A: No one lives in a bubble, and if you’re struggling, your family is likely struggling as well. Your situation may be very overwhelming and you may have survivor’s guilt, a documented phenomenon which says that people feel guilty for getting past a difficult situation while others close to them did not survive or are still in physical or emotional distress. Remember that your emotional health, well-being, and peace-of mind are the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your family.
8- Diligence – “If I try harder, it will work out, I don’t need outside help.”
A: There are many things in life which we can change, but there are also problems that are beyond our resources, no matter how hard we try. Not only will a therapist help you overcome the big difficulties, a therapist may help you find more effective ways to solve the smaller problems you face as well.
9- Despondence – “I’m beyond help and can’t even think about therapy.”
A: In the world of therapy there exists countless treatment options for a plethora of problems. A good therapist has skill, thorough training, and will be equipped with the knowledge you need to tackle the problems you face. With the right guidance, no one is ever beyond help. You may even be surprised to find out that there are others who have gone through similar struggles.
10- Duration – “I’m not gonna be one of those who goes to therapy for their entire life.”
A: At RCC we aim to provide effective and focused services to help you quickly understand, address and overcome the difficulties you may be experiencing. The greater your motivation and effort, the faster you will likely see results. We will never keep you in therapy longer than we feel is necessary, and will consult with you about the appropriate duration of therapy.
As you can see, there are many barriers that stand in the way of people seeking therapy. We’ve had clients contact us to add more things on the list such as Dollar (cost of therapy) and Dependance (I want to be autonomous) and we invite you to contact us with your concerns. More and more people are discovering the benefits of therapy. In a recent internal poll, 95% of our past clients polled reported that they benefited from therapy and are happy that they reached out for help. It is estimated that about 50% of all people who need help are actually reaching out for it. We invite you to be from the group of people who have the courage and wisdom to reach out and connect with a therapist. We look forward to helping you enhance your life.
Joseph Tropper MS, LCPC is a licensed professional counselor.