There are many things that can happen between scheduling a consultation with a therapist, and making the decision to follow through with attending the appointment. Life circumstances may change, thoughts and feelings about the appointment shift, and assumptions may be made about how it will feel to begin therapy for the first time or to begin again with a new provider. One thing to consider, is that whatever was going on that inspired you to schedule the consultation, is worth exploring, whether it be in a talk therapy setting or another healing space.
Here are a few common experiences that can get in the way of following through with that consultation appointment.
Fear of vulnerability
One of the most beautiful aspects of therapy is the vulnerability it requires in order to grow and live a life that is aligned with the truest part of you. This vulnerability is likely felt as soon as you acknowledge that you want to find a therapist or while you type in the word “therapy” in your web browser. That feeling is part of the process. It is often followed by a greater understanding of self, and how to cultivate and nurture consistent experiences of joy, peace and love.
Fear of stigma
We all have judgments about therapy. Some believe everyone should go to therapy, while others believe that it contradicts prayer and faith, and some fall in between or simply do not believe that therapy is a worthwhile investment. Then there are the thoughts of what it means for a person to go to therapy. That they are crazy, weak, unstable, and whatever other labels we as a society have placed on what it means if someone seeks guidance, support, and healing.
Check in with yourself about your expectations and judgments related to asking for support. When is it acceptable? When is it not? Where is there room to give yourself grace and compassion?
Feeling like things are not as bad as they were when you booked the consultation
All things are temporary. So, the emotions and thoughts you had at the time you scheduled a consultation, may not be the same ones you have when it’s time to meet with your potential therapist. That’s okay. Take a moment to reflect on the core of the concern that led you to search for a therapist in the first place.
Feeling too busy
A lot of us are great at explaining why we are not able to do something that is deemed unnecessary by societal standards. So basically anything that falls outside of responsibilities like making money or taking care of loved ones.
You are important. Your health is important. Find the time.
Feeling overwhelmed by the cost of therapy
Therapy can be expensive. If possible, be clear on all your payment options before scheduling a consultation. For example, when you find a therapist you like, read through their profile to learn their session fee, if they accept insurance, or offer sliding scale or reduced fee sessions. If this is unclear, call or email them to find out. Also, if you have insurance, be clear on what is covered before you begin to reach out to providers.
It’s a win to take time to consistently care for yourself. Therapy can be one of the methods you use. If you have taken the step to schedule a consultation, no matter the outcome, it is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the support you want and need.
Featured Image: Photo by lucas souza