How to take that first step
If you’re on the fence about starting therapy, I understand why. We live in an age when our mental health is more important than ever, but there’s still a stigma attached to it. Maybe you have tried therapy before and found it ineffective or unhelpful for you or perhaps you never even made it to your first session because fear got in the way. But here’s the thing: whether anxiety is interfering with you doing things in your life that are important to you, or your anger is having a negative impact on your relationship with your partner, or you’re struggling to adjust to parenthood, therapy can help. Therapy takes time and commitment, but the rewards are worth it! Let’s talk more about some common roadblocks that people face when trying to start therapy and how they might be overcome:
You may be worried that people will judge you or think that there’s something wrong with you if you participate in therapy. Or perhaps a future partner won’t be interested in dating you or your boss won’t give you a promotion. While these things could happen, the opposite is more likely. It’s 2023 and the stigma against mental health issues and therapy is decreasing. It seems like not a day goes by without a celebrity setting an example of good mental health care by sharing about their own journey in therapy. Simone Biles, Michelle Obama, and Harry Stiles, just to name a few.
Additionally, working through issues in therapy actually increases your chances of success in relationships and in your job. While many people enter therapy to resolve a specific problem, there are many additional benefits. We gain self-awareness regarding what helps us and what holds us back, and that information can be used in all areas of our lives. For example, at Serenity Solutions here in Philadelphia, many clients work with us on anger management skills to improve their relationships. However, what they leave with isn’t just anger management tools. They learn how to manage any painful emotion and how to be more mindful and in the moment to enjoy life more.
I don’t need therapy. I can do it myself.
If you have ever thought, “I don’t need therapy,” or better yet, “I can do it myself,” you are not alone. I’ve heard these thoughts from clients many times over the years. It makes sense. It feels great when we accomplish things on our own. But the truth is that we can’t do everything on our own. We can’t be experts in everything. Pause for a moment and answer this question:
How long have you been working on the issue that’s leading you to consider therapy?
Most people try to resolve their problems on their own before reaching out for help, so the answer to that question for a lot of people is “a long time”. Was that your answer? If so, it’s important to give yourself credit for all of your efforts and to recognize that you were not successful because you needed support, accountability, tools, and an objective view. And remember, you are not a failure if you ask for help.
I could never talk to a stranger about my problems.
It can be difficult to open up and talk about your feelings with someone else. You might fear feeling vulnerable or be afraid that the therapist will judge you. Or you might have been taught not to air your dirty laundry and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Behaving according to these thoughts can protect you from uncomfortable feelings. Unfortunately, holding things in and not talking about them can negatively affect you and your relationships with the people around you.
When we keep our feelings bottled up, we don’t give ourselves room to grow or change. We don’t get the opportunity to process what’s happening in our lives, so we don’t get better at dealing with it or learning from it. And most importantly, we miss out on opportunities for connection with others who might be able to help us through what we’re going through! For example, the person struggling with postpartum anxiety spends their days and nights worrying that they are not a good-enough mother, feeling terrible about themselves as they scroll through social media, and feeling completely alone. They fear letting anyone know how they are feeling, assuming that everyone else is parenting like a pro. When they finally reach out to a therapist, they find out that they are not alone and get the support and tools to help them enjoy their baby and their life again.
Another example is anger management. We commonly think of the person struggling with anger management issues as the person who is always snapping when they’re angry, yelling, screaming, cursing, etc… Serenity Solutions works with people whose anger comes out in this way. However, we also work with people who hold in their feelings of anger. Holding in those feelings is just as problematic as anger outbursts. Why? The feelings are kept inside until you explode (usually at the wrong person, to the wrong degree, and in the wrong way) or the feelings turn into headaches, stomachaches, or depression.
We understand that therapy can feel scary or overwhelming at first but once you start talking about what’s going on in your life (and why), it gets easier and you’ll start seeing the benefits in your everyday life.
Give us a Call
I hope this post has given you some insight into the benefits of therapy and the things that may have been keeping you stuck. If you are struggling with anxiety, anger, postpartum anxiety, or addictions, and are in the Philadelphia area or anywhere in Pennsylvania, give us a call today so we can talk about how we might be able to help. The therapists at Serenity Solutions would love nothing more than for you to start feeling better about yourself and your life. The first step is always just picking up the phone! Call us at 267-317-8817 or click here to schedule your free consultation and we’ll call you. We look forward to talking to you.