Why you shouldn't wait to see a therapist
Have you noticed a change in your mental health? Have you started to feel anxious or depressed? Many people don’t understand when they should ask for help, often denying that they have a problem or thinking that they have no other option but to deal with it alone. This isn’t the case. If you feel you need outside help, a counsellor can provide informed help without any bias or judgement. Their unique support is exactly why you shouldn’t wait to seek out their services as the quicker you acknowledge your issues and look for help understanding and overcoming them, the sooner your mental health can improve.
Read on to learn some of the common reasons why people find it difficult to contact a counsellor, and how you can overcome them.
Being too afraid or nervous
So, you haven’t contacted a counsellor because you are nervous? Maybe you are scared that you will be judged and laughed at? Perhaps you even think that they couldn’t help you? Well, this isn’t going to happen, and therapy can almost always help. You should never let your fear or nerves keep you from doing something that could be beneficial for your mental health. Feeling nervous about change and speaking to a stranger is perfectly normal but letting these feelings prevent you from seeking professional help is not wise.
Encourage yourself as you would a friend who was afraid of making a public speech or performing in a play. Giving yourself a little pep talk before your initial contact and the first meeting can ease your nerves and give you a confidence boost. Your counsellor will always remain professional and supportive, and after your first session, you will wonder why you were ever worried.
Waiting for the right time
Every day that you put off starting therapy is a day that you’ll never get back. The earlier you begin your journey towards a happier life, the quicker you will see positive changes. However, the longer you deliberate and wait, the worse your mental health could get. If you are waiting for the ‘right time’, it means that you are allowing yourself to suffer from the adverse effects of your mental health issues for longer than you have to. You will spend more time worrying and being in a state of anxiety, depression or fear, and less time feeling confident, happy and powerful. If you are struggling to find time to attend sessions, you should prioritise yourself and make the time. When you are struggling, you should look for support as soon as possible and make immediate steps towards recovery. Waiting can also lead to further problems. If you have a busy work schedule, try finding a counsellor that works over the weekends or evenings, whereas if you have children, you could look for someone who has availability throughout the hours that they are in school.
Not feeling ready
You may think that you are waiting until you are ‘ready’ for therapy, but the truth is you never really will be. The voice in your head will try to persuade you to wait as long as possible and that you should try to deal with your problems alone, giving you hundreds of reasons and excuses. If you wait until you feel no reservations or doubts about getting therapy, then you will be waiting forever. You will always have fears and worries or some reason that is holding you back, but you need to prioritise yourself and overcome the feelings.
Realising and accepting that you will never feel ‘ready’ for therapy can be harder than it sounds. It’s ok to have apprehensions, but you need to overcome them in order to heal. Letting your counsellor know your worries will allow them to work with you to overcome them and make your therapy more open, honest and successful.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
About Elizabeth (liddy) Carver
Prior to establishing her private practice in Warrington, Cheshire, Dr Liddy Carver was a Senior University Lecturer/Programme Leader in Counselling. Her therapeutic experience includes work in a university counselling service, national and independent, not for profit organisations and a city hospital occupational health department.