So you scheduled that first appointment, maybe you’ve been considering picking up the phone, or perhaps you’re still in the weeds of researching? I’m sure you have some fears about seeing a therapist even though, most people do their first time – it’s normal. However, let me be the one to tell you that you can take a big breath and relax. It’s not so bad. In fact, it’s kind of like a pressure valve that gets a big release!
Ok, don’t laugh, but I used to think therapy was for rich people, or for those that needed serious medication. I never looked at therapy like something you need. You know like cereal needs milk.
My first therapy appointment was years ago, back when I was in my 20’s. I was so nervous. My breath was super shallow, my hands were shaking, and my walk was wavering. I sat in my car for a good 20 minutes before going inside. I was terrified.
I thought a lot of things… that never came true.
Caveat: I was really lucky and had some amazing therapists. Sometimes you have to go through a couple before you find one you click with.
Thought 1: My problems aren’t bad enough.
I thought for sure I’d start talking and the therapist would laugh and say, “Why are you here? You don’t need to be here. Your problems aren’t problems at all.”
After going through therapy I realized this was the silliest fear ever. The thing is, all problems are bad enough, especially if you’ve tried for a while and can’t shake them and they are affecting your everyday life. No matter how small you think they are.
It’s kind of like going to the doctor after a cut on your arm has gotten infected. You can still use your arm, but if you wait any longer it could get worse. Even though you think to yourself I’m going to the doctor for a cut on my arm – it’s not like it’s broken.
Thought 2: I’m not going to have anything to say.
They’re going to ask me a question and I’m not going to know the answer or what to say. Yep. Like I was back in high school trying to answer an open-ended essay question and I was drawing a blank.
Guess what? You can say, “I don’t know,” and they’re not going to send you packing! In fact, you can say whatever you feel, so don’t worry about the questions they’ll ask and don’t think you need to have any prepared answers. Just go with the flow!
Thought 3: They’re going to find something major wrong with me that can’t be fixed. What if I was an anomaly and whatever was wrong with me wasn’t even identified yet by the psychology field of experts?
No, not true. People that start out at therapy that feel that something is off and take action to make an appointment themselves are most-likely suffering from something that has already been identified in the book of psychological disorders.
Those that are suffering from something much worse and need specialized attention or in-patient treatment either end due to a terrible occurrence or someone else is responsible for getting them help. You know, like a serial killer.
All this is great and you might have some fears that are legit, and there are some bad therapists out there, but there are some really good ones too! There are therapists out there that care and want to help you – ones that will help you. All you have to do is call. And, like I said before, you may have to go through one or two before you find the one you click with, but that’s a whole other post so stay tuned.
It’s Time For A Tune-Up!
Don’t be scared of therapy. It’s an amazing benefit and has helped me through some of the worst times in my life. Think of it as a tune-up or oil change for your car. You can’t go another 1,000 miles without something going wrong if you don’t get a checkup.
People don’t like to talk about going to therapy, but I’m not ashamed and neither should you be. Tell a friend, talk to someone you trust. Odds are, they’ve been too and just never told you.
So, comment below and tell me… will you take action today and call? Is there a fear you have that I haven’t listed here that you’d like me or someone else in the group to address? Let’s get the word out that therapy is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact, a lot of smart, successful people you know are in therapy as we speak!