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What Stops People from Seeking Therapy?

Many people do not think twice about a visit to the doctor. When someone has a toothache, you can find them at the dentist. When someone has a lingering pain, you can almost certainly find them at the doctor.

We are a service-oriented generation. People are comfortable picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment. But when it comes to therapy, something changes.

People seem more willing to tolerate emotional discomfort then they are physical aches and pains. There are several reasons why this might be the case.


Financial. Therapy can be expensive. It is not always covered by insurance. This makes it harder to access for a lot of people and causes it to drop down on people’s to-do lists.

Stigma. We have made lots of progress in this area, however, it is still alive and well. People often worry about what others might think about them if it becomes known they see a therapist. They worry about being judged and other people thinking there is something “wrong with them.”

Logistics. Finding a therapist can be challenging. Therapists often have waiting lists. It can be hard to find someone who feels like the right fit. It can feel discouraging to work up the courage to make the initial phone call, only to hear that there Is a 2-month waiting list.


Getting out of your own way.

When a person is in a situation, it is hard to imagine it might be different. People lose the ability to be objective. People become comfortable and settle into routines.

Emotions come and go, so while something might feel uncomfortable, it might feel scarier to make a change.

This is normal, and part of the stages of change. A person may feel certain they are ready to start therapy, and then cancel the appointment. Feelings of shame and fear can be a powerful deterrent to starting the therapy process.


How can a person overcome these obstacles and engage in the therapy process? Here are three helpful pieces of advice:

  1. Educate yourself. Research therapy. If you know someone who is open to speaking about their experience, reach out. It can be empowering to de-mystify the therapy process. Odds are people who you know, love and trust are currently in therapy! 
  2. Make a list. Write down the reasons you were motivated to start therapy in the first place. It can be helpful to read this list when you are feeling discouraged.
  3. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if finding a therapist is harder then you imagined. It can take time, and it is useful to have that mindset from the beginning.

The Center for Intimacy, Connection and Change is committed to providing the highest quality services to help you establish the wellness you deserve.

Schedule a free consult here, or contact Naami Resnick by emailing:

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