There is no doubt that the decision to seek therapy is both courageous and commendable. Asking for help and divulging information can make us feel vulnerable and uneasy. Reaching out to others can be difficult, whether the person on the other end is a friend, a family member, or trained professional, such as a therapist. As challenging as the choice to start treatment can be, here are some common misconceptions and a few (hopefully encouraging) reasons to consider going to therapy.
Why should I talk about my feelings?
Holding onto negativity and bottling up emotions can have a hugely detrimental effect on our lives. Every day, we are involved in various situations and come in contact with different people that have an impact on us. As part of the human experience, we are able to feel a very wide range of emotions. If we allow our emotional distress to build up over time without processing it, the likelihood of feeling depressed, anxious, and angry increases dramatically. Similarly, if we try to ignore, deny, or avoid our feelings, we may be successful temporarily, but the same issues will keep coming up over and over. Without addressing issues that arise in our lives in a timely and appropriate manner, the problems we face in one area have a higher chance of seeping into all other areas.
Is there more to it than just talking?
Beyond just talking about emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and problematic issues, therapy is an opportunity to create necessary change. Learning new coping skills, acquiring actual strategies to implement into daily life, and improving communication are just a few examples of tangible outcomes that can result from going to therapy. You may also learn techniques for relaxation to reduce anxiety and stress and meditation and mindfulness exercises to increase present moment focus. People also often report gaining a greater understanding about themselves and the world around them. Insight is usually a natural byproduct of therapy. The more we talk about things and work through them, the more we are able to increase awareness, identify patterns, and solve problems. Upon completion of therapy, many people find themselves equipped with an excellent set of tools and a fresh outlook that serves them for years to come.
But what about the cost?
It is true that therapy is a financial investment. We spend money on the gym, fitness classes, and exercise equipment to keep our bodies fit and healthy. We spend money on beauty products, dermatological treatments, and even surgical procedures to enhance our physical appearance. We spend money on prescription pills, illicit drugs, food, alcohol, and material goods in search of happiness and comfort. We spend money on seminars, conferences, trainings, and books in hopes of achieving success. We might even spend money to attend spiritual retreats or pay money to a psychic in an effort to demystify the meaning of life or figure out our futures. We do all of this, but we may completely neglect our true mental and emotional well-being. The mind, the body, and the soul are all connected. Spending money on therapy could actually end up saving you a lot of time, effort, energy, AND money in the long run.
Furthermore, when we invest our own hard earned money, it automatically increases our accountability and commitment. Just as people are more likely to actually attend a concert if they paid for the tickets themselves, people are more likely to attend therapy sessions they pay for rather than sessions paid for by insurance. Paying for therapy often creates motivation within clients, even if this drive is unconscious. This motivation to consistently attend sessions inevitably leads to greater change and improvement in clients.
With all of this said, I fully recognize that the cost of therapy is a very real barrier for many people. I am committed to helping break down this barrier by offering sliding scale pricing to those in need. I am also always happy to provide referrals to lower-cost community mental health clinics or to mental health professionals who accept insurance. Money can be a difficult topic to discuss, but please never hesitate to ask questions about it. The more we talk about it, the easier it will be and the more clarity and confidence around it you’ll gain.
Remember, “Health is wealth”!
But I’m not Crazy!
It is a common misnomer that people must be “crazy” or there must be something severely “wrong” with them if they are attending therapy. Everyone on this planet could benefit from having someone to talk to and turn to for support, especially an independent and experienced professional. Therapy can be a vital preventative tool just as much as it can be a treatment for a problem or crisis situation. Going to therapy even when things are going well in life can be immensely beneficial in the short and long term. Many people are able to head off major disasters in therapy, thereby avoiding the fallout of these otherwise potentially catastrophic life events.
Still not sure?
That’s ok! Apprehension and resistance are common responses to change. Trying something new can be hard. I am here to help you acclimate to the realm outside of your comfort zone (even if the thought of it makes you cringe). I am here to answer any questions you might have. I am here to listen. I am here for you.