PSYCHO – Olivier grimaces at the idea of ”going to see a shrink”. His few days of reflection gradually turn into months of apprehension and fear. He is far from alone in this case. Indeed, the fear of therapy is an important subject that I therefore address from the first interviews with my clients. Acknowledging our fears helps us to defuse them. So here are seven of the most common fears and my tips for overcoming them.
1 • “There is something wrong with me.”
If one of your best friends tells you that he feels depressed, would he be “depressed” in your eyes?
We are often afraid of the diagnosis. Yet it is a valuable tool for understanding our experiences and facilitating the healing process. A person who feels depressed tends to have a poor image of himself, the outside world and the future. As a result, we can identify and defuse the vicious cycles that fuel these thoughts. In addition, for some of us, “putting a label” causes a click that explains our feelings and relieves our feeling of isolation.
With a note of humor, I often nickname depression “cold of mental health” for which we have two choices: drag it long and painfully or treat it well.
2 • “How can I talk about it with my friends and family?”
You want to tell them because (1) they are dear to you, (2) that you need their support, (3) that you eventually want them to stop unintentionally making your difficulties worse in some way other, but you don’t have the words to say it to have similar bff covers
To facilitate this process, I have concocted three scripts (in English), tested and approved by my clients, which you can use with any professional you consult.
3 • “If I am ashamed of myself, will you judge me?”
I welcome each client as they are. I am aware of my prejudices and I know how to put them aside. As a psychotherapist, I’m here to guide you, not to judge you. Thus, my clients describe my support as a benevolent and non-judgmental environment.
As soon as a prejudice arises during my work, I then refer to my supervisors. This is how I evolve personally and professionally.
4 • “Asking for help means I am weak.”
One of my friends shared his wise vision on psychological support and coaching:
I have not found a better analogy. And more than anything, what do you think it means to “be strong”? Is it doing it alone? Why do the greatest high performance athletes hire a coach ?
My therapeutic approach aims to teach you how to become your own therapist / guru / insert-the-title-that-you-love-here. So whatever happens, you will have the right tools.
Good to know: in addition to their training, many therapists undertake therapy themselves.
5 • “I’m introverted … you can’t understand me.”
Socially rejected, marginal, non-heterosexual, of different beliefs or sexuality considered as deviant: these labels throw anathema on difference.
If you are willing to work on yourself, this is all we need. I will ask you the questions that will help me understand you better; questions that often help my clients to understand themselves better. My clients, as well as my friends, have all types of sexual orientations, lifestyles, and are from multiple cultures.
Between us, you and I, are both human beings, therefore similar.