Although mental health is being spoken about more and more, it is still something that is stigmatized or taboo to speak about. There is still an idea that therapy is for people who have problems, or are ‘crazy,’ and that’s not the case. Therapy can be for anyone who is wanting to seek help or support from someone who can hold a safe space and is unbiased. Here are some concerns some people may have when contemplating starting therapy.
What If People Find Out?
Therapy is confidential. Confidentiality means that anything that is said in session stays between the client and the therapist, but there are exceptions. One exception is that if the client discloses that they are going to seriously harm themselves or others, the therapist may disclose private information to protect the client or the person in danger. Another exception is that the therapist is required to report any ongoing violence, abuse, or neglect of children, the elderly, or dependent adults. Lastly the therapist may release information if they receive a court order. Other than these exceptions, whatever is discussed in therapy stays confidential unless the client signs a release of information. If you go to therapy and don’t tell anyone, most likely people will not know that you are going to therapy. Confidentiality is so important to the the therapist-client relationship. So if you do not want to tell anyone that you are in therapy, you don’t have to worry.
Am I Crazy?
No, you are not crazy for going to therapy. In fact, you are incredibly brave for wanting to reach out to someone for help. I believe that there is still the notion that those who go to therapy are deemed crazy or broken, and that is not the case. Anyone could go to therapy for many reasons. A few of those reasons could be that the client may have never experienced a specific situation before and they want to talk it out with someone who is a professional, the client may be at a really low point in their life and they need some extra support, or someone could come into therapy for their own self-care. Therapy can be for anyone and you do not need to bring in large problems to start therapy.
Can’t I Just Talk To My Friends And Family?
It is extremely important to have support outside of the therapy room. Although your friends and family know you best, they may be influenced by their own biases when trying to tell you how to handle a situation. Therapy may offer a non-judgmental space where biases are not involved. Coming into therapy could help enable the therapist to point out perspectives that the client may not have thought of previously. It is totally understandable to feel odd that you are talking to a ‘stranger’ regarding deep, personal issues, but keep in mind that this may make talking about these things easier. As you continue to utilize therapy you may start to build ‘rapport’ with the therapist. What that means is that you and the therapist build a close relationship, that will allow you to feel open and speak about things that may be hindering your life outside of the therapy room.
What If I Don’t Like Therapy?
I believe that everyone should be picky when trying to find a therapist. All therapists are different. They have different focuses, they have different ways they view a client, and different trainings. A good thing to note is when you are looking for a therapist, most of the time they are able to provide a free phone consultation. Usually during a phone consultation, most clients can have a short conversation with the therapist and discuss why they are deciding to start therapy. Usually this can give the prospective client a good idea of whether or not they want to proceed with the therapist. That being said, do not be discouraged if the first therapist you go to is not the right fit. Going to a therapist and realizing that things didn’t work, may better help you narrow down the search for a better fitting therapist. If you still do not think therapy is right for you, don’t worry you are always allowed to stop going.
How Do I Find A Therapist?
There are many ways you can find a therapist, but you should definitely have some parameters in place when going about your search. You should ask yourself ‘Why am I starting therapy and what are my goals?’ Upon knowing your goals, you should be able to figure out what the focus of your therapy sessions will be. This will help narrow down your search when looking for a therapist. Therapists have specific specializations or populations they work with. So if you are someone who is having difficulty with losing a loved one, you may look for a therapist that specializes with grief. Another thing you should keep in mind when searching for a therapist is deciding if you want to see someone who is within your insurance, or if you are okay with private pay. After you answer these questions you should have a good idea of what you are looking. Another great tool is using Psychology Today’s Therapist Finder. You are able type in your zip code and find therapists in your area, as well as specify your search by specialization and whether or not the therapist is within your insurance.