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5 Reasons People Are Scared To Go To Therapy — And How To Get Over It

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young white woman with long hair looks depressed, head in hands, on city street

Therapy can be scary for people, at first. 

Making the decision to walk in the door for your first therapy appointment can be an intimidating prospect — so much so, that people who suspect they might need to be there can postpone it for years, if not a lifetime. 

As a hypnotherapist, people have shared with me various reasons for feeling frightened of therapy. 

It's good to look at the source of our fears in order to help conquer them. Going to therapy, whether it's with a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, clergy member or another practitioner like a hypnotherapist, can improve your happiness and quality life by magnitudes. So it's well worth it.

RELATED: 15 Common Types Of Therapy And How To Know Which You Need

Here are 5 reasons why people are scared to go to therapy & how to get over it.

1. They are scared that even if they go to therapy, nothing will change. 

Therapy takes wanting to change. If you have that as your starting point, it will work.

I ask new clients to bring their intentions and to tell me what they are ready and open to working on. Sometimes, clients aren't ready to fully change a behavior or habit, but they are ready to tweak it.

For example, cutting down the amount of alcohol they are drinking, but not totally letting go of the occasional glass of wine with dinner.

A good therapist will meet you wherever you are. Some clients need to take baby steps instead of ripping the bandaid off, and that's okay.

Therapy should not be rough if you take it, step-by-step. The process is guided by the person's comfort level. Nothing is forced and nothing happens without their consent. 

2. They know they need to change, but they're resistant or afraid. 

In these cases, I say to the client, "Of course, you're here for a reason, but it's up to you. You're spending your own time and money, but as a hypnotherapist, I have specific tools that can help."

In these cases of resistance, it's usually the person's ego just acting out. The ego is scared of change, so part of the therapist's job is to tame the ego's reactions and tantrums.

The ego wants you to believe everything is fine, even if other sources are telling you something is wrong. 

Sometimes, when abrupt negative changes happen, a person may be quickly jolted into waking up and realizing that there is a genuine problem that needs to be tackled head-on.

For example, if they're losing their relationships, job, health, or well-being. That can lead to a moment of surrender, and then a great openness to change. 

Sometimes, the clients that have the most success overcoming this obstacle are the ones who say, "I know I'm stubborn, but please help. I'm going to commit to this." 

3. "How long is this going to take — the rest of my life?"

It takes time to work together, but in the short term, if you can commit to four to six therapy sessions, a lot can be achieved in hypnotherapy.

Traditional talk therapy can take longer but still can be successful with a committed client.

Often, clients come in with one issue, and as we move through the process, they keep finding new layers within themselves that they want to explore and change. The time commitment is up to you.

I have some clients that come in twice a week, some come in every three weeks, some come in once every six months to a year. 

Therapy is not difficult but can be repetitive. Repetition is key to overcoming any negative habit you want to alter. The brain is powerful, but it's bendable, and you can make changes with cooperation. 

RELATED: 10 Signs That Tell You It's Time To Go To Therapy

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4. They worry it's not confidential.

Before clients even walk in the door, I send them confidentiality paperwork. I promise everything we discuss will be fully confidential. And if I break that trust — well, I work in a home office, so they know where to find me.

The only time I have discussed something that took place in therapy outside of the room has been with my client's written approval. Most of what we do in therapy is not documented or written down anywhere.

I keep a few notes about changes and positive affirmations and that's it. 

5. They're in denial.

If a person genuinely believes they have no problems that they need therapy for, as a therapist, I can't really overcome that, no matter what their friends or family think.

Sometimes, family members or friends approach me about bringing in a loved one with an addiction problem or some other issue they believe the person needs to address. But I have to tell them that if the loved one is not ready, then we're wasting each others' time.

The client has to be ready and has to consent, so I only work with people who are ready to work on themselves. If I see they're not ready, I don't even make an appointment.

Therapy can't happen by force. The person has to be a willing participant. 

RELATED: 5 Reasons Therapy Isn't Working (That Have Nothing To Do With You Being Broken)

Kristine Ovsepian is an intuitive healer, certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and author, bringing Universal Wisdom, love, light, and healing to all who seek her services. For more information, visit her website.

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