The process will be too painful...

Reasons to not contact a therapist #3: The process will be painful, uncomfortable, or scary.

Simply answered, yes - some of it will be all of those things but is that really a valid reason not to consider it?

We all have thoughts, patterns, beliefs and habits which could do with some exploration, and some 'checking out', in exactly the same way we should have our teeth checked every six months: the dentist is not comfortable or pleasant and most of us don't like it but we accept it as a part of life and we do it anyway because we know it's a sensible idea. So why don’t we do the same for mental health?

It's the same with going to the gym, jogging or any other form of physical exercise. The famous phrase used to be "no pain, no gain" - we know our muscles will ache for a while and that we may become uncomfortable and pained but that it will pass and, in time, our bodies and functions will improve and that this, in turn, will improve our overall health. This equates equally well to the talking therapies

One of the things that will happen in therapy is an increase in your self awareness. If we're doing the work in an honest and thorough way, this is inevitable. We will be shining a light into the darkest corners and we will find things which will need looking at. Some questions this always raises are "Why would I want to increase my self awareness? Why would I want to deepen my awareness of painful emotions? Why would I want to abandon my carefully constructed defence mechanisms when they're working so very well?"

Well, we won't be demolishing all your defence mechanisms. I will work very hard at keeping you safely held through this process and but yes, you will become more aware of your feelings. This however, is a process and it can end up as an invaluable tool in processing your emotions, rather than being slave to them.

How do I know this? Firstly, I'm trained to know this but more significantly, I'm not just sitting opposite you having read lots of text books. I've been through this process too and I continue with my own personal therapy to this day. I know that it can be painful and can physically bring you to your knees on occasion but because I've known it at its' painful worst and at its' glorious best, I can really hold you through this safely, with compassion, empathy and understanding.

Therapy can be painful, uncomfortable and scary, yes but it can also be joyous, exciting and life changing. Almost everyone, me included, who has been through it agrees: if you can get into the room with a therapist, it will be painful but blimey, will it be worth it!