I know. Going to therapy sounds so serious. And inconvenient. And intimidating. I actually put it off for years because of those very reasons. As it turns out, after finally going to therapy and successfully overcoming my anxiety, I then had to work on not kicking myself for putting it off so long! Here are a few things I wish I had known that would’ve made this ordeal not so much of an ordeal.
Counselors are like gynecologists, they’ve seen/heard it all. Ok, that may have started us out on more of an awkward note then I intended, but my point is, please don’t be worried that you are showing a side of yourself that the counselor hasn’t seen before.
We are made like jack-in-the-boxes. Anything that “pops out” of us during counseling can be put back in. Research shows that by naming feelings and identifying negative thoughts we start to feel better. But we always have the option though to just push ‘em back in.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." That’s from Albert Einstein. A counselor will help add a different way of thinking to your problem. Together, you’ll be able move the needle toward feeling better faster then if you just stayed in your head and wrestled with it.
Seeking help doesn’t scream to everyone that you are weak. And if you are screaming that in your own ear, get over it. You are human and it is time to fix a very human problem, your anxiety. I thought I would try the “tough love” approach to this one because I have a feeling you would just mock me if I tried the “asking for help is a sign of real strength” route. Even though it is.
You can stop any time. Seriously. This last one might just be the permission you need to get through that door. It was for me!
So whether you are a do-it-yourselfer, person with a high tolerance threshold or just a plain ole procrastinator, this year really can be your year to start feeling better! Keep this checklist with you and make an appointment today. You’ll be glad you did.