Everyone who wants to engage in therapy can benefit. Not surprisingly, people who don’t have a modicum of motivation to change probably won’t. Psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber, MA, stressed the importance of being ready, willing and open to therapy.
Some folks believe that therapy is right for everyone; that “who couldn’t benefit from a little therapy?”
While I personally believe that there are a huge number of people that benefit from our services, it is my experience that unless a person is truly open and ready to do their own work, then therapy can actually create a negative experience for the person so that when they might be truly ready to make a change, their experience with therapy was less than enjoyable.
…Hostile clients do not serve the client or the therapist. Our job is not to fix people; it is to support people who want to heal by reflecting their own strength back to them. There are clearly some clients who are 99 percent against changing their behaviors or thoughts, but it takes 1 percent, some thread of interest or hope, for the process to be successful.
It’s important to have friends to talk to, but a therapist is trained to understand these matters more deeply and therefore is able to offer more than just good advice. Life gets complicated and it sometimes takes a deeper understanding of human nature in order to move beyond the current situation.
Also, because therapy is confidential and the therapist has no vested interest in what you do, it can be easier to talk openly with a therapist and really get down to what is going on.
Myth 3: Therapy isn’t working unless you’re in pain.
Therapy often gets painted as a painful and miserable process. But this picture glosses over the fact that therapy equips clients with effective coping skills to live a more fulfilling life – and can be very rewarding. As Tuckman said:
Although therapy can address some pretty painful subjects, it doesn’t need to be all about pain and suffering. Therapy is often more about understanding yourself and others differently and learning how to cope with the sorts of things that most people deal with at one point or another: relationship dissatisfaction, loss, anger, uncertainty over the future, transitioning from one situation to another, etc. Even though most people go through these experiences, therapy can help you navigate them more smoothly and set yourself up for success on the other side of it.