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The Fear of Starting

The first step is commonly known to be the hardest and beginning therapy is no exception to this rule. Scheduling that first appointment can feel overwhelming enough to stop some from reaching out for support but there are numerous other road blocks that can be in our way as well. Questioning if our problem is "big" enough, what if they can't help, or using replacement or negative coping strategies feels easier than making the changes we need in our lives.

There are intense efforts to end the stigma of mental health and seeking support, but it's harder to face that stigma when it's within ourselves. The fear that others might discover that we're seeking this support may make us seem vulnerable. These same fears would not be present if others found out that we attended a doctors office for any routine procedure. If these or similar concerns are preventing you from taking the next step, it might be helpful to reframe the concerns you're feeling. If your struggles are affecting your life in a detrimental way, it may be time to seek help.

Therapy can be like a second opinion, a confidential support system. We ask our friends which shirt will look better for a certain event, why not ask a professional to help you through the struggles that are wearing on your mind. You are not alone. Recognizing the symptoms of whats going on for you and your struggles can help you to gain better control over your life.

There are logistical concerns that can prevent someone from setting up therapy sessions as well, that are in no way less stressful than the concerns listed previously. The fears of safety surrounding COVID-19 are valid. Seeking online therapy or therapy by phone can allow for you to reach your therapist without the potential risk of exposure. Financial concerns can be preventative as well, fortunately therapy with a MSW therapist is included in most insurance plans in Ontario. If you do not have insurance, many therapists offer sliding scale fees, asking therapists if they offer this is more than acceptable if you are in need. Therapy is intended to be a confidential, non-judgemental environment that begins at the first point of contact.

Finally, the most important thing in therapy is finding a therapist that resonates with you, any good therapist will want you to feel that connection. It might not occur immediately but as the sessions progress it's important that you feel supported & empowered by your therapist. Your therapist should be focused on your goals and what you want to get out of the therapeutic relationship. You are worthy and deserving of the support needed to tackle the struggles that you are facing.

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