Five Things Your Therapist Wants You To Know

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Going to therapy can be daunting, exciting, and anxiety provoking all at the same time. Here are a few things that can help you understand the process a little bit more:


1) We are not here to judge you.

Many people have spent a lifetime being and/or feeling judged. Therapy is one place where you will not be judged. If you have a feeling that you are, then it is critical to discuss that with your psychologist. It will either lead to a discussion of why you perceive judgement where there is none and ways to change it or it will lead to an apology from your therapist who inadvertently mis-phrased something.  We go through years and years of education and training and expense because we want to help. This field tends to attract compassionate people, not the judging type.


2) We do not gossip about you to others.

There is an understandable concern that your therapist is sharing your personal stories with friends and families. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is drilled into us from day one of graduate school – what is said in the therapy room stays in the therapy room.  It is against our ethics to discuss confidential information with others. There may be times when we consult with colleagues, but when we do, we do not reveal any identifying information that would make it possible for anyone to figure out who we are discussing.


3) You only get out of it what you put into it.

It’s not unusual for people to go to therapy and wait for the therapist to say something brilliant, give amazing advice, or provide an insight that will be life changing. Are there “ah-ha” moments in therapy? Yes. Do they happen every session? No. Much of what needs to happen is for you to take risks, to get out of your comfort zone. If you do nothing differently, nothing will change. Many therapists will assign homework; it is up to you to put the effort in. Think of it like learning to play piano. The more you practice outside of your lesson, the faster your learning curve will be. If you only put effort into the piano during your lesson, you will quickly become frustrated and disappointed with your progress. How quickly you improve is up to you.


4) You don’t have to be “crazy” to see a psychologist.

Many times I have had people worry that either they weren’t “bad enough” to warrant seeing me or that they must be “crazy” because they were coming to therapy. Most people who present for therapy are just regular folks who are struggling and want to learn how to get through life a little more easily.


5) Seeing a therapist is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Many people tell me that they feel shame and embarrassment at “having” to see a psychologist. They believe that if they were stronger or a better person, they could do it on their own. To me, I see it as a person deserves to go to therapy – why struggle when you don’t have to? Sure, you can limp around on a sprained ankle, but why do that when you can use crutches until it heals? For most, therapy is a temporary support. It takes a very strong and brave individual who can admit that they could be doing it better and seek support.



To learn more about the process of therapy, please go


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