If you are contemplating going into therapy for the first time, chances are you are not in a good place in your life; and chances are that you are worried you are entering into psychotherapy hell – will you actually be helping yourself by spending all this money to talk about your past? Will the therapist diagnose you as crazier than you had thought you were? Or worse yet, maybe the therapist will laugh and think you’re silly. Will they understand – and will you be able to explain?
All these are possibly valid questions related to the fears you are having, and ultimately it is up to you to enter and/or leave a psychotherapy relationship. There is a financial commitment, a commitment to yourself. If you have tried self-help books; talking to friends; late night postings on related-to-your-problem sites to no avail, maybe you need to try therapy. The biggest difference is the fact that you will have a live human being in front of you; you will be having a conversation – in real time.
Therapy is not like surgery, however. The therapist will not pick apart your brain and take the bad, diseased part out. If only…
This is a core fear about therapy – about finding out there is something inherently wrong with you – some ‘diseased part’. Actually, there is no ‘diseased part’. The aspects of yourself that give you the most trouble are probably strengths taken out of context; coping skills and other behaviors that no longer work for you; survival skills that are no longer necessary; knee-jerk reactions from past events that you just can’t erase.
Therapy could also be about finding out what is right with you and how to use your strengths more effectively. Who knows, you could even become happier with yourself just as you are.