There are numerous reasons people avoid going to psychotherapy. Unfortunately, some of those reasons are based on incorrect assumptions about what happens in a therapy session. Many people still believe that a psychotherapy session involves their therapist primarily just listening to them.
Sitting still and not thinking for a period of even 10 minutes is a lot to ask of someone in 2020. It goes against many of our desires- to be productive, to be entertained, to stay in contact with friends and family. On top of that, many of us are finding ourselves experiencing increasing anxiety in the age of Coronavirus.
During this difficult period for our world, it’s easy to fall into a negative thinking cycle, unhealthy behavior patterns and negative feelings. Many people report feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, and hopeless— and it is very understandable to feel this way. This is a challenging and uncertain time, many people have concerns for their own health or the health of their loved ones, their jobs/ financial situations and feel a lack of social connection due to social distancing regulations.
For some people, taking care of themselves and thinking positively comes naturally, but for others this can be a struggle. Many people prioritize the wellbeing of others over their own; caring for lovers, friends or family members before tuning in to their own needs. Another barrier to effective self care is having a very busy daily life. Some may find themselves focusing on daily tasks such as work, keeping up the home and running errands. They may feel too exhausted to even consider doing something for themselves by the end of the day.
Anyone can benefit from therapy. Even the most mentally healthy people can benefit from having additional support, someone to vent to, and someone who can remind them of their strengths. However, more often than not, people seek out therapy when they are struggling.
The biggest factor in a persons success in therapy is whether or not they personally want to be there. If someone else is forcing or pressuring them to seek counseling they are less likely to reap the many positive benefits. Educating someone who is struggling about the positive aspects of therapy can be beneficial, but it is important to remember that ultimately each person has the right to decide if they want to go to therapy, and to engage in it on their own terms.