One of the most frequently asked questions about the therapy process is: where do I start? It’s so important for everyone to feel empowered when shopping for a therapist...yes, shopping! Think of it: you have a need (or maybe several) and you get to find the options that will fulfill said need! Feeling a little overwhelmed? There is an intervention for that. Dealing with grief? Oh, I know a specialist! Having a problem with your partner? Your child triggered you? I get it, and so does my network of dope therapists! I love inviting people to shop the list of amazing professionals I know.
In the beginning of my career, I thought passing along a colleague’s card was enough. Then I started seeing how much work that could take for someone. I’m basically giving them the key to open doors they haven’t thought about in a while. It can be scary. I am glad I caught on pretty quickly.
If you’re ready to take that step, kudos to you. Here are a few myths I want to bust for you as you go forth.
Myth #1: You can’t afford therapy
We tell ourselves that going to therapy is too much money. Yet, we are online looking for our next 18-inch wig; we spend $100 a week eating out; or we blow money on a weekly-bimonthly schedule at the nail salon. You fill in the blank. I have a few I could add for myself here---I’m definitely not above spending unnecessary money. Ask yourself how you are prioritizing your self-care. While a full set of lashes makes me feel beautiful, I also know an appointment with Kim (my therapist) enhances me in ways my esthetician can’t. If it seems far-fetched, add up how many meals you eat out, the bundles, the nails. You’ll see where the money is! Moreover, tips like learning more about your Employee Assistance Program (or the EAP) at your job via the human resources department can save you a lot of money. Believe it or not, you can have your therapy covered 100% with that option for a few sessions. When you call around for a therapist, you also have the option to ask for a sliding fee scale, meaning a special discount based on your income and household. You will likely have to verify your income status; if it falls below their office’s income cut off (per their own payment policies) AND if they have slots available for this option, you’re in there! Use your voice when calling around. They say a closed mouth don’t get fed.
Myth #2: It’s too late for you
I understand we can be set in our ways. This could be about absolutely anything. I want to submit to you that you’re capable of change. Someone told you, “old dogs can’t learn new tricks”, but that’s unfounded. Our brains are plastic. Now that you’ve read that, I hope you never forget the following: our brains are not rigid. We don’t stop learning things at a certain age. We are perfectly capable of taking new information (IE new more positive self-talk and challenges for the automatic negative thoughts we live with daily) and applying it to a new way of living. It’s how we stretch...like plastic. Get it? I mean, the mechanics of it all are a LOT more complicated than that, but you understand the gist. We don’t have to be stuck thinking terribly about ourselves. And you don’t have to do it alone. That’s where someone like me comes in. Whether you read a book or sit on my couch, you can stamp out the shame that comes with trauma and learn how to address it the way you were supposed to have many years ago. That’s not your fault. Now that you know you can grow at 52 years old, I hope you find what you need.
Myth #3: It’s too hard to find a therapist.
I will say, COVID-19 has my caseload POPPIN. The uncharted waters we are navigating are powerful enough to bring up memories and new revelations that have us feeling out of place. That said, there are still several resources available to widen your search. For instance, the great thing about the COVID-19 Pandemic is that I can serve the entire state of South Carolina! And I do. Access to care greatly increased so that I can meet clients who may have never been able to work with me about their Daddy Issues. In addition to Google, consider expanding your search to:
Celebrities like Taraji P. Henson have founded wonderful organizations to help assist the need for mental health care:
Whew! I could go on and on. These myths are all just the tip of the iceberg. Your decision to find a therapist is commendable and I hope to have made your search easier by helping you get out of your head. Because the gag is: the ultimate myth is that you are not worthy of therapy. Chyy that’s another post. Stay tuned for that one.
What are the myths you heard about therapy? Leave a comment and let’s engage!