One of the main reasons people tend to avoid going to therapy is out of fear of being judged by their therapist. And I get it. No one wants to go into a stranger’s office and open up about their deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings. It’s scary, uncomfortable, and our initial instinct is to protect ourselves. The problem is that instinct to protect ourselves by avoiding therapy can actually be quite counterproductive, as holding things in and avoiding dealing with them could potentially cause more angst and strife.
Lucky for you, not only am I a therapist but I have been to therapy, too. WOOHOO! So not only do I know how it feels to be the therapist, but I also know how it feels to be the client. So when I say I get it, I really do get it.
If you’re someone who is on the fence about therapy, my hope is that by the end of this post you’ll feel ready to take that first step in your healing journey. My hope is that any fears or worries about being judged by a therapist will be erased and you’ll feel motivated and inspired to start your healing journey.
So here is what your therapist ACTUALLY thinks about you:
- You’re a friggen rockstar. No, seriously, you are. Do you know how much courage and strength it takes to make that phone call? To walk into that office? To sit down on the couch? To open up about things you may not have shared with anyone before? It takes an incredible amount of courage and strength. Again, as someone who has been through this process before, I know how hard it is to do the work on yourself. I think every single one of my clients are true rockstars.
- You’re ready to do the work. Whether you realize it or not, making that call and booking that first session is evidence that you’re ready to start the healing process. Sure, maybe you only make one apt. and then never go back, but the fact that you started the process means your healing journey has begun. No matter how long it takes or how many times you start and stop, you’re on this new path whether you realize it or not and your therapist knows this and will do everything in their power to help you along the way.
- You’re a human being, just like everyone else. Yes, in therapy we sometimes have to make clinical diagnoses for treatment purposes but this does not mean there is something “wrong” with you. You are not defined by your diagnosis. You are a person, just like the rest of us, who is going through something. That diagnosis is just a way we can better explain the symptoms and ensure you’re receiving the appropriate level of care for your healing process. Think about it this way, your medical doctor will need to diagnosis the difference between allergies and asthma, as these two ailments need to be treated differently in order for you to heal properly. If you were diagnosed with asthma, you wouldn’t start walking around saying, “Well I’m asthma now…” right? Right. Because you don’t become the diagnosis. And as a therapist, we don’t look at you any differently because of a diagnosis.
- You’re smart enough to ask for help. This is something so many people struggle with as we tend to look at asking for help as a sign of weakness in some way. If you’re asking for help, you’re smart enough to admit you need the support instead of trying to do it all by yourself. We aren’t meant to do it alone and everyone needs a little help sometimes.
- You haven’t said anything we haven’t heard before. Very rarely am I shocked by what my clients tell me because the truth is, we have literally heard it all. Seriously. Honesty is the best policy as this is going to ensure your therapist knows all of the information to help you the best way possible. Leaving information out because of shame or embarrassment is typical and understandable, but will only end up hindering the treatment process. If you have reservations about sharing certain things, talk with your therapist about these fears and allow them to process that fear with you.
- We are not judging you. It’s not our job to judge you. It’s our job to HELP you. Now, I of course cannot speak for all therapists, however, I can confidently say the majority of us have gone into this field to help and heal. Judging simply isn’t in the job description. We don’t care about anything other than helping you work through whatever it is which brought you to us in the first place. Plus, none of us are perfect either. Don’t forget, we are human too. We get it more than you think.
- You actually teach us a lot, too. TRUE STORY. I learn something new from my clients everyday. I work with clients as young as two years old, all the way through young adulthood and I find myself in awe around how much I learn from every single one of them. It truly is an incredible parallel process.
- You have the power to make your life better. As therapists, we believe in our clients. We trust that they are going to be able to attain their treatment goals, no matter how big or small. We believe they can make the positive changes. We believe in YOU. If we don’t believe in you, then how can you possibly believe in yourself? Trust that they are on your side and have faith in your ability to make your life better.
- You inspire us. Think of a time you helped someone in your life. It doesn’t matter what you helped them with, but think about a time you felt a sense of pride in knowing someone accomplished something with the assistance of your support or guidance. Now, multiply that times 1000. That’s how we feel! I am continually inspired by the growth and progress my clients make, no matter how big or small that progress may be. I am continually inspired by those that I serve and I feel honored that they have allowed me to be part of their healing journey.
Whether you realize it or not, reading this post was one small step in the healing journey. I know that the idea of therapy is scary and daunting, but trust that your therapist is there for you, every step of the way.
If you are looking to begin therapy, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some helpful tips:
- Ask your insurance provider for a list of in-network providers in your area!
- Ask your medical provider for a list of recommendations!
- Check out psychologytoday.com for a list of local providers in your area!
If you’re still not sure therapy is for you, check out this post all about whether or not therapy is right for you, HERE.
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me! If you loved what you read, be sure to subscribe to my blog to be the first to get new posts!
If you are interested in learning more about my therapy services, check out my website HERE. Seeking mental health services can be daunting and if you are finding my posts resonate with you, it is likely you are feeling ready to take that next step to work on leading a happier, healthier life! I would LOVE to support you in starting this journey and welcome you to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALSO! Check out my FREE “How Do I know If Therapy Is Right For Me” printable to start the process of deciding whether or not taking this next step is right for YOU! Just add your name + email address below and you will receive an email with a link to your FREEBIE!