Most people have struggled or are close with someone who has struggled with their mental health. It takes a raw and real bravery to start therapy. I am here to make the beginning steps comfortable for you.
"don't air your dirty laundry in public"
If you grew up in a small town this mindset can be especially reinforced. There is a pressure to maintain your reputation, or the reputation of your family. A strong fear that the information will be gossiped about.
Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance in the therapeutic relationship. The confidentiality and privacy of your sessions is the foundation to the trusting relationship that will develop between you and your therapist. There is no ‘dirty laundry’ to a therapist. Anything you would like to discuss is allowed and treated with respect.
"I am a professional, public figure, or first responder (e.g., police office, firefighter, paramedic, 911 dispatcher, hospital staff) and if anyone recognizes me or my vehicle at therapy, I will lose credibility."
This is a legitimate concern and oftentimes a result of the negative stigma surrounding mental health treatment. Nonetheless, it is important for all people to be able to access psychotherapy services. Virtual (online or over the phone) sessions can be a useful way for you as a professional, first responder or public figure to attend psychotherapy without the risk of it negatively impacting your career trajectory. Some clients later decide to proudly let others know that they are attending therapy, while some decide to keep it private. This is a personal choice. If you would like in-person sessions, extra measures can be taken to ensure you do not encounter another client when entering or leaving the practice site. This can be organized with your therapist.
"i am too anxious, too shy or too quiet"
You are nervous it will be horribly uncomfortable, you won’t know what to say or will clam up; you won’t be able to show the therapist who you really are, and therefore will not benefit from the sessions.
This is an incredibly common concern. Your therapist is used to nerves, and anxiety in all its’ forms and levels of severity. Therapists love working with all sorts of different people, with different temperaments. You can be a quiet, or a talkative person in therapy. Anything goes. These concerns can be explored with your therapist openly. It is your therapist’s role and responsibility to meet you where you are and to guide the process as needed.
"i should be able to handle this on my own"
This one could be a book of its own. Mental health is one of the many branches of our overall health. We feel our mental health emotionally and physically. It impacts our perspective of ourselves, other people, and the world around us. It is normal to require treatment, support, and a place to explore what you are struggling with.
This thought is often accompanied by comparison. For example, my friend(s) can thrive in life and handle struggles without therapy, does that mean I am weak if I need or want psychotherapy?
Let us change the question. What symptoms do you feel you need help with? What feelings have you been experiencing a lot of? (e.g., Fear? Anxiety? Depression?) How are these experiences getting in the way of your life? How is it impacting your relationships?
How might psychotherapy help you achieve your goals? How might it nourish and strengthen your ‘roots’, and allow for healthy growth?
Therapy is an active process. Your therapist will be working with you on bringing out your innate ability to work through what you are struggling with. The nature of therapy means that YOU get full credit for progress made, and it is you who leaves with that “I DID IT” feeling. Therapy enables your skillsets, and your achievement.
"i am busy & it is expensive"
Once you decide to attend therapy, and are ready, you might need to look through your calendar to find that hour of available time. Virtual sessions eliminate the travel time to and from sessions and can be a great option when time is limited.
As psychotherapy services are not covered by OHIP, finances are a practical concern. Please check with your individual insurance provider to learn about the amount of possible coverage for your policy. If paying out of pocket and finances are a concern, some clients will schedule bi-weekly or monthly sessions instead of weekly. Your budget can be discussed with your therapist and considered in your treatment plan. Currently, I am able to provide a sliding scale for 10% of my overall caseload. If financial concerns are preventing you from seeking treatment, please call to discuss the sliding scale.
*A special note to pregnant and postpartum parents: It is okay to have a crying baby or screaming toddler during your virtual sessions. It is okay to breastfeed or bottle feed or care for your baby or child(ren) during a session. Most people do prefer having a quiet hour with their therapist, however, if childcare is not available please feel welcome to schedule. We will make it work.
"i don't deserve the help"
Yes, you do. But first let’s explore that thought.
Therapy provides a space to identify negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and patterns that might be leaving you feeling stuck. You can start therapy with the belief that you are not worthy of help. In fact, many people seek therapy because they are feeling worthless and/or hopeless. When you are ready, help is right here. Not just for others, for you too.