Why We Convince Ourselves We Don’t Need Therapy
As a mental health professional, I am obviously a little biased on this subject. I believe the world would be a much different place if we all freely sought therapy when we need it. Unfortunately, there is a pesky stigma attached to seeking therapy, which can often hold us back from following through with finding what we need. When you consider therapy and follow it up with a reason not to go to therapy, you might be convincing yourself that:
“It’s not that bad.”
No matter where we are in our lives, we can convince ourselves we don’t need or deserve help/attention/love/etc. The reality is that things can always be worse, but at what point do you want to make a change? You deserve better. Minimizing your struggle now can be dangerous, because unaddressed mental health problems can deteriorate into a bigger problem. Early intervention or prevention is always a good idea. Even if “it’s not that bad,” we can all benefit from some good ol’ self reflection and personal growth sometimes.
“I can handle it myself.”
This one can come from deep-rooted beliefs about not being worthy of asking for help. We can make things much harder than they need to be for ourselves. As humans, we are meant to live in connection with others. You don’t have to work through anything alone. In therapy, you may also consider working on letting others into your life.
“I can’t afford it.”
If you find yourself saying you can’t afford therapy, think about what you are prioritizing financially. Is there any wiggle room in your budget or are you using money as a way out of therapy? If you are truly struggling financially, look into low-cost mental health resources in your area. Call a therapist and they can help you find something.
“I don’t have time.”
Again, prioritize yourself! Your mental health is more important than that thing you have scheduled. If you cannot find a free hour in your week, this could be another sign you are in need of some self-care and time for yourself. What better place than therapy to figure all of that out!
Often the reason underlying all of these justifications is a bit deeper under the surface. Therapy is hard work. We might have to face some things we don’t want to face. We might have to make changes we have been avoiding, leaving the proverbial comfort zone behind. There will be sadness, grief, anger, and probably some deepest-darkest fears...but those are the exact reasons you are considering therapy. Those reasons to go to therapy are signs that you are ready for change. They don’t go away when you choose not to make that first appointment. Take a deep breath, and do yourself a major favor by scheduling that first session.
Authored by Jessica Chavolla, MS, LPC