Are you someone who uses therapy to increase your wellbeing, or you in the camp of people for whom therapy is definitely for other people?
1 - That word – THERAPY!
For some the word “therapy” is the problem. Maybe it implies there’s someone wrong with us? So yes we might well be happy to go to a physio-therapist to help with an achy shoulder. We don’t think there’s something fundamentally wrong with us just because we have an achy shoulder that won’t go away. We just have an achy shoulder that won’t go away and is preventing us doing things we would like to do. We think “who can help me with that?” and we’re right onto it.
So why’s it different when we want to make ourselves more confident, less anxious, less fearful or less stressed?
One reason might be there’s still stigma around asking for help with matters of the mind. But then again we can see we’re a little bit inconsistent here too. We accept sports coaching to make us play sports better and that will include mind stuff (or should do). I’m a cycling fan and it’s well documented how important Dr. Steve Peters’ input as a psychologist was in turning around the success of British Cycling. Steve Peters said of the work he did with cyclists “It’s an emotional skill - it’s no different to a bike skill’.
Now some cyclists didn’t need his help (Mark Cavendish being one according to his autobiography) but others did and flourished when they learned how to make their minds stronger to match their physical strength.
2 - I’ve got to sort my illnesses out first
Mind strength is just as important if not more so than physical strength. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of how our mind, nervous system and immune systems are linked and affect each other. It explains why addressing something at the psychological level can have a positive effect on physical symptoms.
So if we make our mind stronger, physical symptoms can improve too. So shouldn’t we begin with the mind rather than see it as an optional extra?
3 - It isn’t that bad – stiff upper lip
This brings me onto something else – emotional wellbeing. Why do we sometimes feel it’s necessary to wait until we’re at breaking point to get help? If we injure ourselves we don’t “wait and see” for ages and ages hoping it’ll get better, we go and get medical help and get it sorted.
4 - It’s too expensive
If we treat ourselves to a holiday to relax or to a new gadget to cheer ourself up that may be money well spent. However if we can’t enjoy the holiday or the gadget because we’re too stressed or anxious or fearful or don’t feel good about ourselves then I’d argue the holiday or the gadget wasn’t such a good investment.
Hypnotherapy is a short term therapy with many clients achieving the changes they want to within only a handful of sessions. Yes you need to invest in the sessions but then consider the possible returns in terms of how much more you can enjoy your future life.
5 - Only weak people have therapy
Only weak people need therapy, right?. Really? So it’s weak to realise you need to improve/fix something and then to go out and do it? I’d say it takes strength to be prepared to start the process of positive change. I have a favourite quote at the moment by Christopher Columbus “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore…”
Because we British don’t tend to talk about seeing therapists, you have no idea which of the successful, happy people around you have used therapy to increase their wellbeing or change something about themselves to enable them to be successful. You could ask them, but then that wouldn’t be very British would it? So you’re left wondering, trying to guess, and in the meantime still living with the status quo.
Why not re-consider?
So, If there’s something you want deal with then why not look at therapy as an option?
There’s just one time you shouldn’t go to therapy and that’s when someone else wants you to go more than you do.