Negative Thoughts About Going For Therapy
Therapy. There are so many DIFFERENT types but the most common are CBT, Counselling, EMDR, Psychotherapy and Group. When you are REFERRED for therapy there are so many thoughts, emotions and feelings towards it. Fear is one of the biggest even though therapy should be something that helps. the truth is there is nothing to be scared about...
When I was first refereed to CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I was terrified. The thought of going in and talking to someone who I didn't know about my issues and past was enough for me to try and get out of it. I felt like an idiot for needing help and I felt like I had failed. I can remember the doctor saying to me it would be something that would help me learn to cope and deal with my issues but in my head it was this big scary thing. Were they going to think I was crazy? Maybe I wasn't ill enough? Did I make myself ill? Any concept you can think of I thought and I made myself more ill with the worry about getting help. The day came where I went for my first appointment and I met my therapist who would be helping me for the next sixteen weeks. She was friendly, kind and above all else she understood why I was feeling the way I was. I spent an hour a week with her delving into my past, looking at my behaviour and working on things. I realised I had built up therapy and it wasn't this massive thing that meant all things bad. It didn't mean I had failed it meant I was strong and brave. I wasn't crazy I was just ill.
When you are about to go for therapy for the first time or even the third you can feel the same way I did. It's an awful feeling! Below are some common thoughts people have regarding therapy and I have given you some advice about what you might be thinking. to be honest this is perfectly normal to think these things and so many people do.
1. I have failed
Going for therapy doesn't mean you have failed anything it just means you need some help. Therapy isn't the final step in recovery and it's not just for people who are at rock bottom. Therapy is a tool to help you, give you confidence and the skills needed to keep fighting. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness but a sign of strength! Most of the time we need help whether that being the doctor giving you antibiotics or a helping hand with putting furniture together and we don't feel like we have failed then, do we so why is this different?
2. They will think I'm crazy
Mental health affects each of us differently and we all have our own personality traits that join our mental health. A therapist would have worked with all types of mental disorders and would have heard it all. Most of the time we think we are worse than we really are and once a therapist gets to know you, you start to know yourself. You might think because you think bad thoughts your mad but most people do when they are living with mental health. Honestly when you meet your therapist, open up and talk about it you will realise that whats going on with you is normal and no one will think you are crazy.
3. I will have to talk about things I don't want to
A lot of people think therapy is about getting to the deep, dark stuff and yes it can be. When you first go for therapy you are asked about the issues you face and you create a plan of action. If you don't want to talk about something, such as your childhood you don't have to. Your therapist will understand that at this moment it's not something you want to address. They might suggest you should but it's what you want to do. First of all they can't make you but really they want you to get the best out of the time you have together and not make things worse. You are in control!
4. They will think I'm wasting their time
No matter your problem, big or small if you think you need help get help. People use therapy for such a range of issues from anxiety, depression, eating disorders to low moods, stress, phobias. A therapist will look at you as a whole and they are not there to just help the severely ill. The issues that you are facing are big enough to you and that shows everything. If you think therapy is going to help you then you are not wasting anyone's time.
5. They will tell my family about my issues
Therapy is confidential and it remains that way forever. Therapy isn't a witch hunt it's there to help you! If you don't want others to know about things then they won't tell anyone. The only time this can be broken is if the therapist thinks you are in danger to yourself or others but even then they tell you they will contact someone. Therapy is there to help you and if you think your family not knowing about what goes on will help then that is the way it's going to go. On your first meeting confidentiality is the main thing you will speak about and that will put this to rest for you.
6. It wont work or help me
Therapy is such a diverse thing. There are so many approaches, theories and each therapist has their own way of doing things. You don't know if it will help or not until you start! If you think it's not helping you though you can tell your therapist, they want to know! This way they can change their approach or reefer you onto someone else. Most of the time though this isn't needed because it does help, you just have to give it your all, work hard and turn up.