This week’s post is quite a personal one. I’ve struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for as long as I can remember. However, it was only in September 2020 that I finally decided to start seeking psychological help for my anxiety disorder.
Pros of Seeking Psychological Help
As medical professionals, therapists have a duty to keep what is shared in sessions completely confidential. Unless, however, the client gives them permission to repeat information; or if the therapist feels the client is an immediate risk to themselves or those around them.
I enjoy this aspect of therapy as it feels almost like a safe space. A space where I can go into detail on my thoughts and worries, and know that it will stay between the two of us.
They help to normalise your feelings
You might go into therapy thinking that you’re going to look weird or crazy. But you must remember that what you’ll tell your therapist is nothing they haven’t heard before. I think my therapist could tell that this was a concern of mine, as she was so quick to reassure me and normalise how I felt/behaved.
Another thing you’ll find is that they help you to rationalise your thought process. Whether this be by talking it through with you, or getting you to keep a journal. I can say from experience that it feels so amazing feel like you are finally being understood.
Ask you questions that you never thought to ask yourself
Seeking psychological help might give you the opportunity to perceive things in a way you never have before. This might be a particular behaviour you’ve adopted, or a past experience that might still affect you regularly.
I’ve only been in therapy for a few months; but I can already think of several times where I’ve said ‘now that you mention it…’. Then after talking it over it led to some great revelation. Your therapist is on your side, their whole attention is on you, and they want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. At the end of the day, all they’re after is for you to feel better.
An example of how this applied to me was that my therapist encouraged me to challenge the negative and intrusive thoughts I was having. Reminding myself that this was just a thinking error really made me look for another perspective.
In some cases this might be how other people viewed me. If I felt like I was being ridiculed or judged then I asked myself ‘what proof do I have to support this?’ This simple piece of advice was so effective! It made me realise the extent of my thoughts that were based on no proof whatsoever. Assuming that people dislike you or are trying to do things to upset you, will ultimately only hurt yourself. We have no way of knowing what other people are thinking, or why they do the things they do. It made it so much easier to be happy and confident every day once I had accepted that.
Cons of Seeking Psychological Help
In this section I’ll share some common reservations that people might have when they’re considering therapy.
The Fear Factor
It’s no secret that many individuals struggle with this when seeking psychological help. The idea of unravelling your life to a complete stranger is no easy task. It’s very much the opposite. You might be fearful of judgement or being misunderstood. Personally, this process was quite scary and daunting. However, I knew that I owed it to myself to at least give it a go. Just remind yourself that the way you feel is perfectly normal and no one is going to judge you for how you feel.
You might not bond with your therapist
Another common reservation is the fear of not creating a connection with your therapist/psychologist. This is nothing to worry about. If you don’t feel like you have a comfortable relationship with your therapist, then you can always request to see another. They’re not going to take it personally, and this happens more often than you think.
It can take time before you see results
Some individuals wait years and years before deciding to seek professional help. This often means there is a lot of work to be done in order to heal. You have to be prepared to really work hard to start helping yourself to get to the result you’re after.
Therapy can be upsetting from time to time, as it’s important to cover all the topics that may have contributed to how you feel now. This often involves revisiting subjects that you thought you’d never have to talk about again. A few tough sessions is very normal and you shouldn’t let that put you off. Remember, it’s all part of the process.
Usually not cheap
Unfortunately one of the biggest downsides to seeing a psychologist is that it can set you back quite substantially in terms of finances. However, there are alternatives to seeing a psychologist. Talk to your doctor if you are worried and feel like you need to speak to someone. Also make sure to try some homeopathic remedies to see if that helps as well.
Well there are some of the most important pros and cons to consider when it comes to seeking psychological help. I hope that this might’ve shown some of you that seeking help isn’t nearly as bad as you’re imagining it to be.
Feeling like you could do with some self-care? Click here to find some ideas: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/06/5-simple-self-care-habits-to-start-today/