Overcoming Therapy Nerves

Therapy Thursday
Therapists are a wealth of knowledge and tips on how to manage mental health challenges. We asked a few great practitioners in our community about mental health challenges, strategies and resources. Read what they had to say...
I'm nervous about starting therapy and so I keep putting it off. How do I overcome this?

What you’re experiencing is completely normal. Many clients report the feeling of diving into the great unknown before their first therapy session. It’s an ambiguous situation, and we are naturally hard-wired to find those uncomfortable.

Realize that you are in charge – you get to choose when and how you’ll participate, and what you’ll share. Ask your potential counselor what to expect during the first session, along with any other questions you might have. This alone can put your mind at ease. You can also write down what you’d like to discuss in your first therapy session.

Most of all, consider therapy a safe, no-judgment zone – therapists want to help you, so we respect where you are in the process of change. We’re here to be your guide - someone you have chosen who is impartial and objective, allowing you to discuss your concerns so we can help you live your best life. As a Gentleman’s Therapist, I hold the principle that you are the expert.

Sure, years of study and real-world conversations have certainly taught me a few things, but no one knows your life and the complexities you navigate on a daily basis better than you. Sometimes we just need some guidance tapping into the boundless possibilities that reside within.

From Kathryn Gates, Gates Therapy

Of course you are nervous about starting something new where you'll be asked to talk about yourself and your problems with someone you barely know! You may not even be sure whether or not therapy will help you. Most people who haven't been to therapy before feel nervous about starting. And, with the right therapist, most people discover how much easier getting started is than they imagined.

The easiest way to take a step in the right direction is to ask a therapist or two for a consultation.

Most therapists will offer potential clients a phone call or video chat with you so that you can ask them why (or why not) they might be a good therapist for you. This way, you can get a sense of what they are like and whether or not you would be willing to meet with them consistently.

Once you’ve met with a therapist or two, if it doesn’t seem that you really hit it off, or if you need something they don’t provide, therapists will usually be able to offer you other suggestions of someone who may be a better fit for you.

You don’t have to START THERAPY all at once. Just give someone a call and find out when you could have a consultation.