fears about therapy

Top 6 reasons why you haven't met with a therapist

You've known for a while that something is off. Your mind is swirling with worry all the time, you feel sad when you should be happy, and sometimes, you seem to cry for no reason at all. You know you're a smart, competent woman, but sometimes you just doubt yourself. You wonder if you'll be like this for the rest of your life. It's bringing you agony and you just can't stand it.

You've heard some of your friends talk about therapy. It has crossed your mind to maybe call someone, but you're not sure if a therapist will be able to help you. After all, you're not 'Crazy,' so why would you want to call someone? Well, here are some of the possible reasons why you probably haven't picked up the phone to schedule your first appointment.

1) You're too scared: Well, that's all good. Most people are terrified when they first call or email me. It's actually quite normal. Think about it- you've struggled with this huge problem for weeks, months, or even years and it's terrifying to bare your soul to someone you barely know. Well, one of the reasons why therapy could work so well for you is that your therapist is a neutral third party who is trained to identify behavioral and relational patterns. I personally don't judge you when you walk through my doors. My job is to ask the right questions so we can figure out-together- how to get you out of the rut you feel. If I were to criticize you or judge you it'll actually get in the way of me doing great work.

2) You think a therapist might label you as crazy: I've heard this one before. "I just want you to know that I'm not crazy." Well, when a potential client calls me, I don't for a second label her as crazy. The way I see it, people call a therapist when they are tired of feeling stuck. It's as simple as that. Never would you hear me use degrading or insulting words. And if your therapist ever addresses you in a demeaning or disrespectful way-please run fast in the other direction. You don't deserve such horrible treatment.

Let's set the record straight. Therapy isn't for "Crazy people." Therapy is a great way to treat mental health symptoms, get some clarity and move closer to the goals you have set with your therapist. Therapy can be a powerful tool because your therapist is well trained and can give unbiased guidance. If you were "Crazy," a therapist wouldn't be able to help you anyway. 

3) You don't want your friends or family to know that you're talking to a therapist: The great thing about therapy is that it is actually confidential. This means that we keep whatever you say as a secret. Just call me Murrieta's best keep secret. The only issues we must report by law are child abuse, elder abuse, dependent adult abuse, as well as if you are a danger to yourself or somebody else. And of course, these laws are put in place because we protect people who cannot otherwise protect themselves. I'd rather you get mad at me, and I ensure you're safe, than let you harm yourself. So your family and friends will not find out that you are in therapy- unless you want to tell them. I pride myself as being the best kept secret in the Murrieta/Temecula area.

4) You don't know if you'll be able to trust a therapist: Talking to someone you've just met is really difficult. Trust me, I know. But the great thing about therapy is that because there is no judgement, your therapist is able to see things clearly. When you are in the eye of the storm, all you see is debris and chaos. And usually, you- the client are in the eye of the storm. But your therapist sits right outside of the storm where he or she can see everything else. Of course at first it will all feel awkward when you come into session, but with time-if the therapist is a great fit for you- you'll feel more comfortable.

This is why I offer all new clients a free 15 minute consultation call so we can both decide if we will work well together. I also only see a very limited number of clients so I can provide each client with individualized, targeted service.  You're not a number. You're a person with feelings, challenges and goals. And my job is to help you overcome those difficulties. And then what happens if you meet with a therapist and you absolutely can't stand her? Well, you just let her know that you're not a good fit and you find someone else if you so wish. You are under no obligation to keep on working with a therapist you don't connect with or trust.

Find out more about ways that a therapist can help you in this post- How can a therapist help you?

5) You don't have time: Majority of my clients come in to see me once a week, and then when things get better, we go down to every other week, and sometimes, even once a month. It all just depends on their individualized needs. But what happens when you can't seem to fit 1 hour a week into your schedule? Well, then you discuss it with your therapist ahead of time so that you both can work on a mutually agreeable solution. Some people choose to do online therapy. It's therapy from the comfort of your own home or office. The benefit is that you still get to work on your goals, while in the comfort of your home. You also avoid driving time. It's definitely something to think about. I wrote more about online therapy in this blog post- The benefits of online therapy

6) You don't have the money: Sometimes people do not even search for a therapist. They assume that they cannot afford one. Some therapists are contracted with specific insurance companies. It means that they signed a contract with that company so they can be reimbursed for services provided. Note that for an insurance company to cover your sessions, you will have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Same thing as if you were going to see a physician. He or she will have to give you a diagnosis in order to be reimbursed. Sometimes you will be responsible for a co-pay or you'll have to meet a certain deductible. It all depends on what insurance plan you have. You can call your insurance company to verify how much it would cost and how many sessions they are willing to cover. 

Sometimes therapists will not bill your insurance company directly, but they will charge you a fee up front before each session. Therapists' fees range so don't assume that you can't afford one. The key is to keep searching for the right fit. And in some cases, if you have a PPO insurance, you might be able to get reimbursed if you see a therapist who doesn't have a contract with your specific insurance company. Of course, always ask your insurance company first to verify your benefits. Usually, you'll pay the therapist's fee upfront, then the therapist will give you a receipt called a super bill. After you submit the super bill to the insurance company, they will reimburse you according to their specified rate.

And there you have it. These are the top 6 reasons why many people do not reach out to a therapist when they are struggling. If you are on the fence about working with a therapist, click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation call to find out if I can help you go from stuck to thriving. And if we decide we are not a good fit-that's alright too.

Fears About Therapy

Your life has been in turmoil for a while. Maybe you and your spouse have been yelling daily or you're getting increasingly frustrated with the kids. You know you are unhappy. You've struggled for months and you can't seem to reach out for the help that you need. You've looked up therapy or counseling online, but you haven't had the courage to actually call a therapist.

 Here are the reasons why some people hesitate to call a therapist:

 1) Therapy means I'm crazy: Well not really. No one ever said that counseling was for "Crazy people." Therapy actually works great for people who are coherent enough to understand what the therapist is saying and can actually follow through with some of the homework given. Therapy isn't for the "Crazy," just like going to the doctor isn't for the comatose. Therapy is helpful for people who are willing to look at a different perspective and try something new. When you're stuck in old patterns, it much the time to call someone to help you get unstuck.

 2) People are going to laugh if they know I'm in therapy: Your therapist will definitely not be telling people about you. It's the law. Actually, if I see you at the store, I will walk right by you- that is unless you address me first. Now it's not because I'm ashamed of you, it's because I'm protecting your confidentiality. I do not tell anyone about you, that is of course unless you sign a form giving me permission to do so. So if your friend walks into my office and asks about you, I'll be saying to him or her "I cannot confirm or deny that I know her."

 Please note that in some instances California law actually mandates that we make a report. These instances are child abuse, dependent adult abuse and elder abuse. We also have to report if you are a danger to yourself or others. Plus you don't have to tell anyone that you're in therapy. It's YOUR business and you reserve the right to keep it to yourself.

 3) A therapist can't help me: Well, you wouldn't know unless you tried. Unless you actually picked up the phone to talk to a therapist, you'll never know if there is hope. A therapist might be able to help you, but if you don't call, they'll definitely not be able to do anything for you.

 4) Therapy will bring up painful memories: Well sometimes therapy does bring up memories we thought we had long forgotten. That is very true. But not always. Sometimes we need to dig up the dirt in order to lay the foundation. For a plant to bloom, its seed has to be buried in the soil for a while. After some time spent in the darkness, it springs out of the soil and makes its way up to become a beautiful flower. If this is a concern for you, definitely address it with your therapist. Don't let this stop you from seeking help. When we ignore our pain, it'll affect us negatively.

 5) The therapist will judge me: Well, let me speak for myself. I've had so many people come in to see me for literally thousands of hours that I really have no desire to judge you. Judging you will actually stand in the way of me doing my job. When I'm sitting across from you, I listen, I highlight patterns of behavior, I look for strengths, and then I try to challenge you to come up with solutions. If I spent my time judging you, I'd be completely useless to you. I serve as your guide, not your critic.

 6) Therapy is too expensive: Many people don't see therapy as an investment in themselves, rather, they see it as a luxury. Sometimes you might have to forgo other things in order to save up for therapy. If you spend time getting your nails and hair done regularly, you might be able to afford therapy. But think about it this way- just like you invest in a home to make memories forever, or a vacation to spend amazing family time, your mental health is super important and might take some sacrifices on your part so that you can shed the unhealthy, anxious parts of you. Would you rather spend money to heal old wounds or scrimp and continue to carry the baggage around?

And if saving and sacrificing is completely out of the picture for you, then contact your health insurance company to see if you could find a therapist who will take your insurance. Please note that when your therapist bills your insurance, your insurance company will have some of your information and your therapist will also be giving you a mental health diagnosis. So your information doesn't just stay between you and your therapist- it'll be shared with a third party. 

Are there any other fears you've had that have stopped you from seeking counseling? 

If you are searching for a therapist or counselor in Murrieta or somewhere nearby, and you'd like a free 15 minute phone consultation, call me on 951-905-3181. It's time to stop the anxiety and finally find your calm.