Have you been wanting to start therapy but fear keeps holding you back?
When doing anything for the first time, it can be difficult to take that initial step. You’re putting yourself in a new situation where you don’t know what to expect or what the experience will be like.
But there’s also a reason you’re interested in seeking counseling, and that’s more important than your fears. Not everyone in therapy feels completely comfortable during their first session. In fact, many people feel uneasy about the process before they dive in, and that’s normal.
What’s important is to understand that fear will be there no matter what you do, so you might as well jump in. It helps to understand what those fears are so you can navigate around them and make it easier for you to begin counseling.
Here are 3 common worries people have when starting therapy and how you can overcome them.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma that comes with topics surrounding mental health. If people took the time to increase their knowledge about mental health, then the stigma wouldn’t be as prevalent.
Many people don’t want to admit they’re in therapy or choose to keep it a secret, and this could be for a multitude of reasons. There can be shame and embarrassment that comes with seeking professional help even when there’s nothing to feel ashamed about.
People also don’t want to open up about seeking therapy because they’re afraid they’ll be seen as “crazy,” but this is a stereotype. Anyone can seek therapy, even those not dealing with super traumatic events. It’s a tool to help you better understand yourself and those around you.
One of the most difficult things about therapy is revisiting difficult situations and working through trauma. There are reasons why you might feel depressed, anxious, or uneasy and wish to seek professional help. But unpacking these events can register awful feelings you’d rather avoid.
Therapy isn’t easy and the process of healing isn’t always pretty. Many envision the journey of healing as light and effortless, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Revisiting your past and the trauma that comes with it might feel scary, but it’s necessary to push through and feel better in the long run.
Your fear might also stem from confronting the issues in your life that you’ve pushed to the back burner. But the sooner you confront these fears, the sooner you can move forward with your life.
You might be afraid of what you and your therapist unpack, including a potential diagnosis. Having someone tell you you’re battling a specific mental disorder is a confirmation that you need help and it isn’t just in your head.
But the good news is that those who work through their issues in therapy are usually able to overcome their diagnosis depending on what it is. According to the American Psychological Association, a person’s depression is highly treatable when he or she receives competent care.
It’s normal to feel fear surrounding a potential diagnosis, but it’s better to be aware of the situation so you can work through it and feel better. If you set a goal to improve your mental health, then it’s important to be aware of a potential diagnosis and not feel afraid of it.
If you’ve been putting off seeking counseling to better your mental health, then this is a sign to get started. Starting therapy is a game-changer for tackling your issues and overcoming them in a healthy manner. The fear of starting something new is normal, and therapy is no different. But understanding that these are just tiny obstacles in the bigger picture will help push you forward. What fears will you overcome about starting therapy?