Is therapy worth the money?

Is it a reasonable question
As a counsellor working in the private sector in Glasgow, I am often challenged: “In today’s economic climate, is therapy worth the money?” I think that this is a polite way of saying what do I get for my money? I think that most therapists would struggle to give a quantative answer to this question. What therapy offers is more about quality and in today’s consumer society; it can be difficult to put that point across. 

Short term fixes 
Often clients will try short term fixes, there are unhealthy ones like drugs and drink but even the seemingly harmless ones have problems. You will have heard and perhaps used the term retail therapy, meaning to go out and look at the goods on offer in the shops and indulge yourself by perhaps buying a few treats. In so doing you feel better, you have nice things you lift your value your self-satisfaction. Unfortunately too often the objects of desire from one day become the hum drum daily objects in the coming months so if you need to lift yourself you need to engage in more retail therapy to get that pair of shoes that will make you feel great or that plasma TV that will let you relax and enjoy the Olympics.

So what does counselling offer
Counselling offers a quite different model. Counselling is a process and it looks at client issues helping to sort out acceptance of and reaction to the client’s life. It can deliver life changing insight and really help to change the outlook and potential of a client. Counselling delivers quality to your life, if it delivers quantity it is quantity in terms of the amount of life that is truly lived. The process drives many clients every year to tackle their low self-worth, their anxiety, their depression and so forth.

Often even the thought of asking for help, seems alien to us, it strikes at our very self-worth. We must be worthless because we have to ask for help. Surely we will be seen for the fraud that we are. Yet in that moment you can see why counselling is worth it. A counsellor will be able to accept you for what you are, listen to those difficult thoughts about yourself and help you to accept yourself with all the joy and sadness that can be in your world.

If I had the flu I would not hesitate to buy a packet of Lem-sip to ease the symptoms and help me heal, yet so many soldier on with emotional and psychological problems, surely you are worth finding out if counselling can help? Perhaps it is a secret you have held on to and now find it is blocking your life, perhaps you have been treated badly or perhaps you have just reached a point in your life where you question what is the point?

I like the next counsellor, enjoy a good session of retail therapy, but I like to see it for what it is. It is a way of treating myself, in the same way as I might have a nice meal or enjoy a night out with friends. If I want to feel better psychologically, counselling would be a better choice as the process goal is to deal with the underlying causes of my incongruence and uneasiness not to smother it in the instant gratification of things.
At the top of this article I asked is therapy worth the money? – The answer is you are worth every penny.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Glasgow, G46
Written by Graeme Orr, MBACP(Accred) Counsellor
Glasgow, G46

I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling in person (southside of Glasgow) and on-line (UK wide) for individuals. It can be a daunting prospect to choose a counsellor just when we are at our most vulnerable, I hope that what you read here resonates with you.  We all struggle with d...

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