"Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honoured. They are the…
Curious about therapy, but wondering if it’s a fit for you or your relationship? In this post, I’ll tackle three of the most common reasons people question whether therapy is right for them, dismantle myths about the therapeutic process, and (hopefully!) inspire you to begin your own journey.
1. I’ve never had anything really bad happen to me and I feel more or less okay. Do I really “need” therapy?
There are a lot of misconceptions about what kind of person “needs” therapy. The truth is, every single one of us can benefit from a non-judgmental space to explore areas in our life we feel stuck. That said, therapy takes time and money, and so many of us wait until tragedy or mental illness strike, or the feeling of stuck-ness gets so intense that we are unable to cope.
This is one way to approach the “do I need therapy” question: waiting until it’s not a question at all, but an obvious necessity. The other approach is to be proactive about it: to seek to better understand ourselves, our relationships and our growth areas before we feel totally stuck.
There isn’t a right or wrong to which approach you use to determine your need for therapy. As mentioned, time and money are obstacles for many people, and so they either decide to forgo therapy altogether, or wait until things get really bad in their life or their relationships. Others decide they want to deepen their self-understanding or strengthen their relationships despite things being “okay” enough already, and engage in therapy proactively.
Ultimately, the decision is a personal one that must take into account your budget, your time and your readiness to engage in the therapeutic process. One thing is certain, though: the only person who can decide you “need” therapy is you, and the factors that influence that decision look different for everyone.
2. We’ve been having trouble in our relationship, but I think it’s mostly due to my partner’s issues. Should I still go to therapy is if it’s them who has the problem?
Great question. While individual therapy can be useful to the member of the relationship who is struggling, couples therapy is also recommended. This is because couples therapy treats the relationship itself. In other words, while your partner may have individual issues that are contributing to difficulties in your relationship, the fact that the relationship itself is affected by these issues remains true. Moreover, if you are asking yourself the above question, then it is likely that your partner’s struggles are hurting you, and that you could benefit from some support as well!
3. I saw a therapist once and it was awful. How different would another therapist actually be?
It can be so discouraging to finally get up the courage and resolve to see a therapist, only to have a neutral (or even negative) experience in your first session. You can rest assured, however, that just as there are many different types of people in the world, there are equally as many different kinds of therapist. In fact, it is not uncommon to “shop around” before finding a therapist that feels like the right fit. Therapists have different personalities, approaches and ways of being, just as clients have different expectations, hopes and goals for therapy.
Therapy requires a high level of vulnerability. While a deep sense of trust takes time, feeling understood by your therapist from the first contact is crucial. If don’t feel that you click from the get-go, then it is best to keep searching. That is precisely why I offer a free, 20-minute phone consultation for potential new clients. I don’t pretend that I am the right fit for every client, and I encourage clients to consider whether we will be compatible before entering into a therapeutic relationship.
Curious to learn more about how therapy can help you or your relationship? Contact me today for a free, 20-minute phone consultation.