I know from experience that the most difficult part of starting counseling is just that–starting counseling. Choosing a therapist. Making that phone call. Carving out precious free time to sit and talk about things that you’ve spent days, weeks, years avoiding.
And yet you can’t shake that nagging sense that maybe it would be good for you to talk to someone. Particularly someone who is removed from your world, unbiased. Someone who might offer a different perspective, or perhaps just a quiet place to unpack what’s been wrapped up so tightly in your mind.
So here is your sign–or whatever it is you may have been waiting for–that you have permission to go ahead and call a therapist! Don’t wait for the “right time.” (Ex: What if she’s at lunch? What if it’s too early (or late) in the day? What if she’s in a session?) You can always leave a voicemail. Or for my fellow phone-anxious individuals: send an email! Find out if they have an online info request or patient portal. Just do something to get that scheduling ball rolling, because that first push of the ball is the hardest push of them all.
Get a safe friend to call for you. They can sit with you and start the conversation with the therapist as the three of you talk about your schedule. Know that you have options to reach out for support in ways that feel comfortable to you!
For guidelines on choosing a therapist- check out Doxa’s other blogs on this topic.
Rest easy knowing that the first therapist you see doesn’t have to be your forever therapist. Don’t let the fear of being stuck in a therapeutic relationship that isn’t the right fit for you be what keeps you from pursuing counseling— you can always let your therapist know and ask for help finding a better suited referral. We don’t take it personally! We know counseling is not one size fits all. You may need to meet with a counselor for just one session, or you may want to meet with him or her for years! But don’t let the fear of commitment keep you from going (because that might be something you want to unpack in therapy, too)!
The sooner you prioritize time and care for yourself, the sooner you will be taking healing steps on the path that leads you where you want to be. Future you will be so grateful for the ways you take care of yourself today! I’m rooting for you and would be honored to be a starting place as you take steps toward learning more about yourself in counseling.
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