Going to therapy can be a big decision. It’s hard to know who to trust, and who’s equipped to help you reach your goals. Sometimes you think about past therapy experiences that didn’t go well, and wonder if you’re going to have another bad one. Maybe your skeptical if all the time and money invested in therapy will eventually lead to nothing. It’s hard to tell. Especially factoring in all of the different types of therapies available, therapist styles, and feeling unsure which one is best for you. I understand how frustrating deciding whether to go to therapy and or picking a therapist can be. I’m aware that this frustrating process can be discouraging, and you may be tempted to just put it off, or try and figure everything out on your own. For many people therapy is the last resort.
It’s very tempting to try and just deal with your problems on your own. To throw your hands up in the air and say “Screw it!” This way no one has to know what you’re going through, you don’t have to confront the discomfort of finding a therapist and changing, and you can try to manage everything within yourself. I take it that most of you have been already doing this for some time. It’s important to understand that change cannot take place until something changes. Something in our daily cycle has to be disrupted, and many times in a big way. I understand how difficult and scary change can be, and why most of you often settle for the familiar chaos rather than explore the possibility of how much better your life could be.
In order to push through this discomfort of seeking therapy, it can be helpful to visualize yourself and the life you’d realistically like to live. What would your life look like after getting through your problem? Imagine what this new life would bring you, and what an average day after completing therapy would look like. Would you have a better social life? Would you be performing better at work? Would you feel more relaxed, and be having an easier time falling asleep? Will the Sunday scaries be a thing of the past? Make a list of everything you’d be able to gain from therapy.
Although at times therapy can be uncomfortable and expensive, have you ever thought about how much your problem has already cost you by doing nothing? In the wise words of Tony Robbins “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” How many things have you missed out on by not making a change? How many sleepless nights? How many outings were unenjoyable because of your overthinking? Think about all of the things that you’ve lost or let pass you by because of this problem. I understand that revisiting this can be a painful and emotional process, but I encourage you to temporarily let yourself go there. Make a list of these losses. This can help you conceptualize what you’ve already lost or could continue to loose, compared to what you could potentially gain and continue to gain if you seek out a therapist. After having completed these two lists of gains and losses, how do they compare?
When contemplating therapy we often dwell on how much the initial cost in money, time and effort would be required of us. We don’t seem to spend much time thinking about how much continuing to do nothing has already cost us, and will continue to take from us if everything stays the same. Do you think it would be worth the temporary discomfort of looking for a therapist and trying something new, to possibly gain so much more enrichment and happiness in your life? The decision whether to take the plunge into therapy is ultimately yours to make. It all boils down to how much you value yourself. How willing you are to stand up to your problems in therapy to become the best version of yourself.