If you haven't been in therapy before, you probably have a lot of questions.
And if you have been in therapy before, you may be reluctant to do it again, especially if you
didn't have a good experience the last time.
It is important to find a trained mental health therapist who is a good fit for you, and with
whom you feel comfortable. Therapists are not "one size fits all", and that is often the reason
for bad experiences in therapy. But there are some common misconceptions that can lead
to a "less than helpful" experience...
Hope for the Journey Counseling, LLC
4251 Kipling St. Suite 560
Wheat Ridge, Co. 80033
Hope for the Journey Counseling
There must be something really wrong with me if I have to go see a therapist...
There are many reasons why people see a mental health therapist, just like going to see a dentist, or a medical doctor. Our 'emotional self' is just as likely to need a tune-up as our 'physical self'. Furthermore, our relationships, jobs, school, and social life, all suffer when we struggle emotionally. Many people who seek therapy are the same people that you and I work with, live next door to, sit next to at school, greet as we enter the doors at church, or work out next to at the gym. They have jobs, homes, families and friends, and live full lives.
I don't know about you, but it is easy to feel like everyone else's lives are full of good things when I am focused on what is wrong in my own. Especially in our society in which social media is the main window into the lives of those
If I go with my partner for marriage counseling / couples counseling, I am going to feel picked on and judged...
Marriage counseling / Couples counseling is about the relationship, first and foremost. In order for the relationship to change and heal, both partners must be heard equally, and allowed to express emotions and concerns without bias. My job is not to tell them what to do and what (or who) needs to change; it is to give each person a voice, and provide a safe place for them to find what works for their relationship. I provide tools for better communication and understanding, and for reconnecting intimately. My job is not to fix you. My job is to help you and your partner figure out what is not working, what needs to change, and how to go about doing that.
Marriage counseling / Couples counseling doesn't really work. It actually makes things worse, not better...
You're half right! I tell couples in the first session that usually things feel worse before they feel better. It's inevitable that all of the "ugly" will be stirred up in therapy, and that can be discouraging and uncomfortable. With the help of a therapist, you and your partner can work through your emotions and the issues in a skillful and healthy way, and things will become more clear.
Therapy isn't necessary if you have someone in your life to talk to...
Having people in your life that love and support you, and can provide a listening ear, is extremely important. Therapy is different from friendship though, because it is all about you, the client. Being able to talk to a neutral party without bias takes a lot of the pressure off so that you can tell your story and express yourself freely. A therapist can be that impartial person who sees all facets of your situation and helps you sort through it without expectation or agenda. They can provide you with practical and effective skills to better manage what you are struggling with emotionally, relationally, and in the circumstances in your life. That way you are you free to focus on yourself and what you need to become a healthier you.
I need to see a therapist, but it's too expensive. I just can't afford it...
Yes, it is expensive. Consider, however, the cost of not going to therapy.
What will it cost to file for divorce? Fight for custody? Lose your home? Lose family and friends who don't know which side to choose?
What will it cost if stress leads to sickness, depression, anxiety, addiction, loss of your job, strained or broken relationships...?
Be your own advocate!If you ask, most therapists can help you find a way to make it more affordable, either by offering a sliding scale, or by providing you with referrals to community resources that you can afford. You can find the help you need!
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