6 Common Fears of Starting Therapy

Starting therapy may seem daunting, especially if you’ve never had it before. It’s perfectly natural to feel apprehensive about sharing your innermost thoughts with someone you don’t know. However, there are several myths about therapy that we would like to debunk.

This blog outlines the six common fears of starting therapy and highlights the stigma and misconceptions that often deter people from seeking treatment.

Six common fears of therapy debunked

If the prospect of therapy fills you with trepidation, some of these common fears are likely to resonate with you.

I feel scared of starting therapy

If you are thinking about having counseling for the first time, you may be wondering: “Is it normal to be scared of therapy?” or “How can I overcome my fear of therapy?” Your therapist will completely understand – and expect – a few nerves. In fact, talking about your concerns is a great way to break the ice and start your first session.

But why is therapy so scary? The main reason it can be is because it’s not always easy talking to a stranger about the problems and challenges that brought you to counseling in the first place. These are likely to be things that make you sad, nervous, angry or afraid. Often, they are issues you are ashamed and embarrassed to admit to yourself, let alone another person.

However, there are many benefits of therapy. It can be a huge relief to confide in someone who is totally impartial. The therapist can provide a fresh perspective, help you better understand your emotions and give you coping strategies. They will put you at ease so you can talk freely without fear of judgement. By the end of the session, you will hopefully feel a little bit lighter than when you started and wonder why you were afraid to talk to a therapist in the first place.

Take the first step today and book your free 30-minute consultation so we can discuss your specific requirements and explain how teletherapy works.

Therapy won’t help me

People are often cynical about whether therapy will really change anything. Perhaps you’ve previously had counseling and it wasn’t a positive experience, or you were forced to go to therapy by your parents. It’s easy to think that you’re the only person who understands your feelings and the only one who can deal with them. Most of us want to resolve our problems without getting anyone else involved. When we can’t do it on own, we can feel hopeless and helpless.

However, professional support is an integral part of working through deep-rooted issues and building a strong therapeutic relationship is key. Opening up about past experiences can help you work out where your negative thoughts have come from and why they are there. Talking about what’s going on in your head can help you take control of your life and make positive changes.

I won’t know what to say

There is no right or wrong way to approach therapy. Some people talk non-stop and others struggle to know how to express their thoughts and feelings. It is fine to start the session by admitting: “I don’t know what to say.”

However, according to Satya Doyle Byock, a psychotherapist in Portland, Oregon, some of the most productive therapy sessions start with a client saying, “I have no big updates”. She explains that “When people arrive without something clouding their minds or overwhelming them, we have a chance to get many layers deeper than we often are able to.”

If you are anxious about booking your first therapy session because you are worried you won’t know what to say, don’t be deterred. As you get more comfortable with therapy, topics will naturally emerge.

The therapist will be judgmental

One of the biggest barriers to starting therapy is the fear of being judged by the therapist. However, nothing you say to an experienced professional is likely to shock them. Whatever you share, they will have no doubt heard before. Therapists want to help people, not judge or criticize them. In fact, helping others and making a positive difference is what attracted them to the profession in the first place. They are trained to have a non-judgmental approach and put personal thoughts and feelings aside.

Anyone starting counseling can be assured of safe and trusting environment. Your therapist will listen without judgement and help you explore your thoughts and feelings.

I don’t think my problems are real enough

There’s a common misconception that you need to be in crisis to seek mental health therapy. However, it is important to get support before you reach crisis point. The earlier mental health problems are treated, the better the outcome. Maybe you’re putting off starting therapy because you’ve felt worse before or you’re comparing your suffering to others. However, the impact of certain emotions or situations differs from person to person. We all deal with pain, grief, trauma, stress, anxiety and other feelings and events differently.

No matter what you’re going through, if it’s negatively impacting your life, it’s a real problem and professional support could really help.

People will think I’m crazy

The idea that people who attend therapy are “crazy” is outdated and far from the truth. The stigma that once existed around therapy is diminishing and there’s an increasing acceptance and positive perception of counseling. It’s important to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You wouldn’t think twice about seeking help for a broken arm so why should treatment for your mental health be any different?

There’s no need to tell anyone you’re attending therapy if you don’t want to but it’s likely that several people you know will have tried it. It just takes someone to start the conversation, for others to talk about their experience of therapy and normalize what is a smart and sensible solution.

How to start therapy

At Kindbridge, we understand that starting therapy can be nerve-racking so we will treat you with kindness and compassion from your very first contact with us.

We offer a range of mental health services and, together, we’ll agree which technique is most suitable for your needs. We may recommend one approach or a combination of different methods – see our modalities.

We can provide convenient, confidential and affordable access to a fully-licensed therapist anytime, anywhere – all you need is an internet connection.

Take the first step today and book your free 30-minute consultation so we can discuss your specific requirements and explain how teletherapy works.