Written by Marissa Halstead
As a client, it can be intimidating to walk into a counselor’s office. (Just calling for an appointment can be scary enough!) Thoughts might cloud your thinking that sound like, “What will he think of me?” “Is she judging me?” or “I wonder if I’m the most messed up person he’s ever seen?” It takes a lot of courage to go into an office with a person you have never met before and disclose very personal information about yourself. Thankfully, therapy is not as intimidating as we might make it out to be in our minds. Here are some things about therapy that might ease your mind and help you take that first step.
Judgment Free Zone
Your therapist is NOT there to judge you! It is natural to think this since there is so much judgment and unsolicited advice given online and in relationships. Your therapist’s job is not to judge, but rather assist you in creating a more fulfilling life that aligns with your life goals. Most of the time for this to occur, someone needs to process life events, hurts, and failures. This is very typical and nothing will shock your therapist–they have heard it all! When you share something that has been on internal lock down for years, it is natural to cry. Crying does not scare a therapist – in fact, you get bonus points with therapists when you cry! Feel free to be the real you because that is when you usually have the best and most productive therapy sessions.
Along with therapy being a judgment free zone, therapy is also confidential. Confidentiality creates the sense of safety for clients to be completely honest. There are some exceptions to confidentiality because therapists are mandated reporters. Examples of topics that would warrant the breaking of confidentiality generally include when someone’s safety is at risk, as in: child abuse, elder abuse, suicide, homicide, and terrorism. There are nuances that go along with some of these situations that your therapist can explain to you. In general, most things that a client discloses in therapy remain solely between you and your therapist.
It is natural to worry about what others think of you. As much as you can, don’t allow the fear of judgment to cloud your desire to reach out and see a therapist. Here at Envision, we see clients with all types of needs and struggles. We have seen clients with diverse backgrounds and unique beliefs. We’ll do our best to put you at ease in a situation that most humans find uncomfortable!