Starting Therapy Without Getting Spooked

Starting something new is almost universally scary, at least a little. Therapy is no exception. In fact, everyday I come to appreciate more and more how truly brave it is to make the decision to meet with a stranger for the first time to potentially discuss the most personal of matters. There just aren’t many forums for this type of talk in our society.  Frankly, there is not much encouragement to talk about deep and potentially unflattering emotional material in the “real world.” And yet, what I (and hopefully my clients too) have come to realize is that it is an absolute necessity to talk about hard stuff in a constructive way. Letting it circle our brains over and over again is generally what a lot of us do. That’s less than effective. All that spinning leaves us awake at night, foggy in the brain at work, and unavailable emotionally to our loved ones. What’s worse is that all of those thoughts can lead us to believe there is no way to sort out emotionally hard stuff and there is no hope of help.

Experiencing this kind of distress does not have to be the norm. If your brain is spinning, its time to take some kind of action. I’m clearly a fan of therapy, but there are other options as well. For example, find someone who has been safe and helpful to you in the past to talk to. You can see if there is a book or other credible research on the topics impacting you. If you do decide to start therapy- know that you can ask to do the work at a pace that feels comfortable to you. If there are things you don’t want to talk about or work on at first, you can say that. I would encourage you to find someone that you feel honors your needs, pace, and priorities. Feel free to ask questions when contacting a therapist. You can call lots of therapists just to see how it feels to talk to them briefly on the phone. Remember, you are the customer. Make a choice that feels right to you.


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