What is it that you find most difficult about committing to the process of psychotherapy? There’s usually some degree of fear – fear of the unknown, fear of what you’ll discover, fear of change. But sometimes the most troublesome part of seeking therapy is the fear of being judged.
Where does this fear come from? Fear of judgment comes from a core belief that was established early in life. Our core belief system gives out many messages. Some are positive and some are destructive to our well-being. “I am safe” is one belief that helps us to take risks and to feel comfortable in the world. Holding this belief does not mean that you are reckless and take unnecessary risks. Rather it means that you can step out of your comfort zone and believe that everything will be ok, even if ok involves fear and discomfort.
A belief system that creates fear and keeps us from seeking therapy might go something like this: “I can’t trust”. Because our beliefs are deeply etched into our brains, it is difficult to challenge this. But a first step may be to find the courage to seek counseling – not an easy task.
Why would I do that when I don’t trust that my therapist will not judge me? This is a good question and one that has a simple answer: we are trained to accept and honor all beliefs. Whether your core belief tells you that the world is safe; whether there is fear that you will be judged, my core belief is that there are many different ways of thinking/feeling/doing. One size fits all doesn’t apply here. Even if your therapist holds a belief system that is different from yours, you can rest assured that he/she is able to set aside any personal beliefs and respect you enough to listen, honor and accept you as a person. Please consider this 12 minute TED
Talk as you move toward healing.
Lisa Ransford, LPC, CACII is a member of The Therapist Group at Maria Droste Counseling Center. She works with individuals and couples to find balance and achieve their goals.