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Reasons why People Don’t do Therapy

Issues such as work-related stress, relationship problems, anxiety, depression, conflict with family, and unresolved issues from the past are just a few of the reasons people decide to start therapy.  Therapy involves talking through problems, gaining insight about yourself – and why you do the things you do, exploring effective ways of dealing with problems, and learning new ways to think about the difficulties faced.  Despite the significant amount of relief so many people gain from starting therapy, some people who could benefit, either have a difficult time getting started, or never even consider it as an option. Below is a list of some of the most common reasons why people don’t do therapy.

1 – The “Stigma” – Although the idea of going to therapy is accepted now more than ever, it still has a certain “stigma” that prevents people from going to therapy.  Some have this idea that only the weak, broken, or seriously mental ill go to therapy.   Some of this stereotype is reinforced by the media and by people who don’t really understand what therapy is all about.  The reality is that many normal and well-adjusted people who are struggling with certain areas of life, find benefit from working through their problems by talking to a therapist.

2 – Concerns about confidentiality – Although some people are very open about doing therapy, others prefer to keep it very private. People who are hesitant about others knowing, might be concerned about people finding out they’re in therapy or be afraid that the information they are sharing in therapy will somehow be exposed to the world.  After all, when wanting to share personal details about yourself, it’s hard to know who to trust.  Therapy provides a platform that ensures confidentiality. Licensed professionals are bound ethically and legally to protect your privacy to the greatest degree possible. This means they won’t share with others details about you or the things you are sharing in therapy.

3 – Price – Therapy can be expensive.  Even if insurance is used, there are usually co-payments or out-of-pocket expenses due to needing to meet a deductible.  When money is a concern – like it is for most – it can seem hard to justify handing over out hard-earned money each week.  It should be noted, however, that it’s hard to put a price on well-being, happiness, and increased quality of life.  When therapy is viewed as necessary and as an investment into your current state-of-mind and future, it’s easier to make the decision.  After all, benefits received in therapy can last a lifetime.  If you’re struggling, the price paid for relief can be well-worth it.

4 – Not wanting to talk about difficult things – For those who have a difficult time expressing themselves or opening up about problems, the idea of therapy can sound scary or potentially painful.  The reality is, that sometimes therapy IS hard.  It can bring up painful emotions and can mean having to face some of the problems in your life head-on.  Although it’s sometimes easier to suppress feelings and problems, the only way to fully resolve them is to work though them.

5 – A bad experience with therapy in the past – Some people are resistant to the idea of therapy due to a bad experience with therapy in the past.  One of the most important factors that promotes success in therapy is having the right fit – working with a skilled therapist who you feel comfortable with and who has an approach that works well for you.  It’s important to remember that if one has had a “bad fit” or experience in the past, that all therapists are different.  Just because one didn’t work out, doesn’t mean that there won’t be another who might be the key to your success in therapy.

6 – Lack of time – Work schedules, family, and other obligations in life can make it hard to find the time to do therapy.  Similar to the concept of “investment” introduced in the concerns about price, the investment of time set aside to care for yourself each week can be viewed as an investment that can pay off in the long run. Therapists often have flexible scheduling options to work around schedules that include work, school, and being available for family.

7 – Not wanting to open up to a stranger – The thought of sharing personal problems with a “stranger” can seem awkward or uncomfortable.  Therapists understand this.  Because of that, therapy should move at a pace you’re comfortable with.  The first session usually includes learning about the process, sharing a little bit about goals for counseling, and getting to know your therapist.  Someone who was once a stranger, won’t be for long. If you do work to find the right fit in advance, you’ll improve the odds of finding someone you’re comfortable with right away.  If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how to find the right therapist, click here.

8 – Being unsure of what to expect – People who are new to therapy, often have many questions about what it is they can expect.  They might include questions, such as: What will therapy be like?  What will be expected out of me?  What kinds of things will I have to talk about? How often will we meet?  What’s the office going to be like? How long does therapy last? or Will therapy completely resolve my problems?  Although the experience will be unique, depending on the therapist you choose, you can get the answer from our perspective by either reading our Frequently Asked Questions or by sending a message directly.

9 – Not knowing where to start – Once a decision has been made to start counseling, it can be hard to know where to start.  The steps to beginning therapy involve finding a therapist, sending them a message or giving them a call, and then scheduling the first session.  If you’d like help with the process, we can walk you through it step-by-step.  We’ll answer your questions by phone or email, help you figure out if we’ll be a good fit, and provide you with ways to find another therapist if for any reason that is necessary. Start here by sending a message directly to Joel Schmidt (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) at our Carrollwood, Tampa office or by giving us a call at 727-258-5231.

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