Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
Clients often say to me in the therapy that they should have gone to counseling a long time ago. There are lots of reasons people give for seeing a counselor or therapist. There are also many reasons people give for avoiding therapy. Sometimes people don't know much about therapy and so it can be intimidating or they may incorrectly think that therapy is only for problems much worse than what they are experiencing. Don’t let things get worse by continuing to put it off and book an appointment today. Here are some of the excuses people give for avoiding therapy.
1. "Small Problems Don’t Require Counseling":
Many people think your problems must be HUGE before you go to counseling. So, they put off seeking help because it seems silly to go to counseling over what they conceive to be a minor issue. Who is to say what minor is? If there is something thats bothering you or keeping you from living and enjoying your life, that's enough of a reason to look into seeing a therapist. The thing is, small problems can snowball into big ones. It often makes sense to get counseling if you have a problem that is bothering you or your relationship, no matter how minor, so you can prevent it from getting bigger.
2. "I can always talk to a friend. I don't understand how talking to a stranger can be helpful"
Friends can provide wonderful support and empathy, and that’s often enough to help us through difficult times. But a counseling relationship is different in a very important way. In a friendship the needs of both people must be attended to. Friendships involve a mutual exchange of listening and sharing. In counseling, the focus is solely on you and during this dialogue about you, your counselor is trained to use therapeutic techniques to help you.
3. Fear of being judged by the therapist:
Many of my clients have told me during their first session that they were nervous to come because they were afraid I’d judge them. This always leaves me surprised and a bit sad.
Therapists undergo specific training to create a safe therapeutic environment. Besides being taught how to cultivate warmth, unconditional positive regard, and a nonjudgmental atmosphere, current therapists are also required to go through multicultural studies, which increases our insight into the variety of cultural norms that exist in our country.
4. Fear of being judged by other people:
For a long time there has been a stigma around going to therapy or seeing a therapist. People are often under the impression that we should be able to handle any problem on our own and that seeking help is a sign of weakness. The truth is that almost everyone can benefit from having someone to talk to about life. Knowing when you need help and how to access that help is a strength. Many people never get the courage to admit they are having a problem and even fewer actually take the steps needed to solving those problems. People who know they need therapy and take the steps to seeing a therapist, are strong and brave and they have the commitment to themselves to live their best lives. If others judge you for going to a doctor or to therapy, must not know you well or they are still misinformed about the value of therapy.
5. "I don't believe just talking can do any good"
Talking can actually do a lot of good. Discussing something with someone who cares about you and who is not judgmental helps relieve the emotional pressure caused by keeping our thoughts and feelings to ourselves. But counseling involves much more than just talking. Counseling provides a to understand who we are and how we relate to the world around us. In counseling we focus our attention on aspects of our experience that we may have been previously unaware of. This provides new ways of looking at problems and often gives us new ways to handle these problems.
6. "I won't know what to say":
Don't worry. There is not right or wrong thing to say in therapy. Your time in therapy is about you and your life and thoughts and feelings, so you can talk about anything you want, or say nothing at all. If you find yourself lost or uncomfortable in a therapy session, that's ok. Your therapist is trained to guide you through the process when you want or need them to.
From time to time, some issues CAN be resolved without outside help. That doesn’t always happen, and only you know if a problem continues to persist. If a problem doesn’t seem to go away, or you find yourself in the same pattern over and over again, it may be time to consider confronting the issue with the help of a professional. When you are ready to find a therapist that is right for you, check out my blog post titled "12 Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist".
Sara Cole MFT is a therapist in San Diego, with offices in Scripps Ranch and Banker's Hill. She has been helping people for over ten years. If you are interested in learning more about therapy or how Sara may be able to help you, check out www.saracolemft.com.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.