Top 3 Reasons "I Don’t Want to Go to Therapy"
By Christine Oriani, LCSW
I have been a therapist for the past seven years and have had the opportunity to work with clients in a mental health outpatient clinic as well as in a health care center as the behavioral health specialist. While the settings vary greatly, there are a number of similarities that I have observed. I had the pleasure of providing treatment to clients who never wanted to go to therapy.
Below are a few reasons why, maybe one of them is your “why” too.
1: “I don’t want to lay on a couch and talk about my mother.
Ah yes! Welcome to therapy stereotyping 101. I assure you, I have never witnessed a patient lay on my couch during a session. However, if a client would prefer to lay on the couch during a session, they would be welcomed to in my office! Have I asked clients about their mothers? Absolutely and I will let you know why. I not only ask about mothers, but I inquire about any primary caretakers during childhood.
Did you know that you have a mental notebook where you store observations of your caregivers and their interactions with you throughout your childhood? You do and you actually reference this notebook in your daily interactions with other people in your life.
Asking about your mom or any other early caregivers in life is essentially asking for the notations you made when you were growing up. This can help me understand your world, how your thinking shapes your choices and impacts your relationships.
2. “I have friends who listen to me vent…and it’s for FREE!”
I’m sure you do! I’m sure they are on your team and are rooting for you. I’m wondering if we can compare this to diagnosing yourself via a Google search? Friends will absolutely listen to you commiserate about your boss or spouse. But, can they help you understand the root of your frustration and pain? We all have some emotional injuries which will fester like open wounds until we are able to heal them. Have your friends been educated and trained to help you heal your festering wounds? Does venting to your friends help put the fire out or add oxygen to strengthen the blaze? Therapy can help you heal your wounds while stifling the blaze.
3. “I’m good.” “I’m okay.”
Aren’t we all! Here’s a likely scenario:
You run into an old friend at the grocery store and they say “Hey! How are you?” “I’m good. How are you?” But are you really good?
Or, you are harboring resentment and your spouse looks at you and asks “Are you okay?” You reply “I’m okay.”
How many times have you responded that you were “good” or “okay” when you were anything but “okay”? Have you considered why you responded this way? Were you in denial that something was wrong? Were you afraid about being judged if you were not okay? Did you worry that there would be no one to support you if you were not okay? Therapy is a safe place where you are welcome to say, “I’m not good and things are not okay.” My goal is to meet you where you are, guide you through this maze called life and give the tools to push through when it seems impossible to do so.
Can you identify with any of the reasons above? If not, what are your personal reasons why you have not gone to therapy?
What are you waiting for?
Seek the support you deserve.
Your life is waiting for you to Embrace it.