Many people are afraid of going to therapy because they don’t understand what it is, the stigma, or they think it’s a sign of weakness. Making excuses for not going to therapy is part of a cycle of thinking you can do everything yourself – “I can do this on my own,” “I’m taking my medication,” “everything is going to be ok if I do this or that,” or “I exercise and meditate,” are common things people say to themselves when they avoid going to therapy. That reasoning is an indication that you are trying to avoid therapy or just struggling to take care of yourself. I understand.
Check out this list and maybe you identify yourself with one or more of these common excuses for not seeking help from a mental health therapist:
1. GOING TO THERAPY ADMITS MY RELATIONSHIP HAS PROBLEMS
Do any of these sound familiar? “We barely see each other but we are ok,” “We argue sometimes but we talk about our problems,” “We are growing apart.”
Couples have a hard time going to therapy even if they need it because they are afraid it acknowledges that things aren’t right. If they don’t go to therapy, it gives into the fantasy that everything is fine, even when it isn’t. Most couples start therapy because someone brought up the idea of divorce. All that pain and suffering could have been avoided if intervention was earlier. Many people don’t realize that if your partner won’t go to therapy, you can go by yourself.
2. I DON’T NEED TO GO TO THERAPY BECAUSE I’M ALREADY ON MEDICATION
Have you ever had thoughts like these? “Not sure my meds are working,” “maybe my dose needs to increase,” “I wish I didn’t have to take medication.”
Were you ever diagnosed with a (chronic) mental illness? Many people think that if they are on medication for treating mental illness, such as depression, ADHD, or any others, they don’t have to see a therapist. If you are doing what you were told to do 5 or 10 years ago, you might think you’re fine. But we all change all the time and can always use support. Even if you are on medication, it’s important to treat mental illness with a holistic approach and go to therapy to strengthen your treatment.
3. MY PARENTS WILL THINK I DON’T LOVE THEM IF I GO TO THERAPY
If you’re a teen, are you worried what your parents will think if you want to see a therapist? “My mom will get mad at me,” “I want her to be proud of me,” “I can’t tell my mom/dad this.”
Many teens worry that if they bring up the topic of therapy with their parents it will cause more tension or arguments in the family. They think their parents will feel bad because they can’t confide in them and want to talk to someone else. Or teens might worry that their parents will think the child doesn’t love them. I have worked with both sides – teens and parents – to improve communication and help them understand that therapy is beneficial for the whole family and improves relationships. It is not a betrayal to go to therapy, just additional support.
4. THERAPY IS SO EXPENSIVE
Have you ever said this to yourself? “I don’t think I can afford it,” “I wish I could go to therapy.”
I know finances can be a barrier to going to therapy. If there’s a therapist you have a good rapport with, talk to them about your financial situation. If you haven’t gone to therapy before, know that it is an invaluable investment in yourself. You deserve happiness, fulfillment, and love. Believing in yourself is the first step to realizing that you are worth it, and if you commit to therapy, you will get better faster.
Part of going to therapy is taking care of yourself so you can engage in different patterns of thought and action that honor your real value. I am here to help. Contact me today and together we will make the change happen.