When people first make the decision to enter therapy, they often feel and say things like, "I thought I could figure this out myself, but I can't" or "I swallowed my pride and called to schedule an appointment." These statements reflect an underlying sense of shame and weakness that people feel about needing or asking for professional help. This is understandable given that people often seek out therapy when they are feeling at their most stuck, most lost, or most disconnected from the people and activities they love and the person they want to be.
But as a therapist, from the other side of the couch as it were, I have a very different response the people I am privileged to work with in psychotherapy. I am amazed by their courage in facing fears and challenges, by their wisdom in understanding that they don't have to do it alone, and by the hopefulness inherent in reaching out for help. Making the decision to enter therapy reflects the determination to make a change, and the hope that one's relationships and future can be better.
Margarita Tartakovsky recently interviewed psychologists and other mental health professionals to shed light on Why Seeing a Therapist Makes You Strong, Not Weak.
Seeking professional help is a courageous, compassionate and smart decision. Seeking help takes self-awareness, work and commitment. It means confronting challenges and working to overcome them — whether you’re seeking help because you have a mental illness or you’re feeling stuck. Aren’t these the very signs of strength?
Read more of Margarita's article on PsychCentral here.
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About the Author
Clinical psychologist Dr. Kristy Novinski contributes insights, book and film reviews, discussions of pop culture, and exploration of news and research in the field of psychology.