It's fair to say, that often, I have a number of different communications with future clients, before they take the step and come to see me; whilst it may seem obvious why that's the case - I want to say it's OK.
Never underestimate the magnitude of the decision to have therapy - it is a commitment that needs all the energy you have. It's a big deal! Not only is it a commitment but it can have many beliefs attached to it "no-one else needs therapy", "I'm crazy", "everyone else copes with life OK".
Today I had an appointment with a new client and they didn't show up and I feel sad about it. I feel sad because they were committed and I know this because clients prepay for their initial consultation with me. I wonder about what happened for them, what it was that made getting here too difficult. Did they set off and turn around? Have they had an awful morning giving themselves a hard time about coming or were they racked with fear about a telling a stranger their story and wondering what would I think when I hear what they say?
That's where my thoughts go... I may be way off the mark, but I don't think I am. I know what it's like to have therapy, to sit in front of someone who is seemingly accepting of all your quirks, validating your fears and irrational thinking. The things you tell yourself to discredit how freeing it feels to have that, like "she's just doing her job" or "she has to say that". And all this happens when you're already here, when you know what the room looks like, where to sit and what the therapist looks and sounds like - so I can imagine the thoughts before a client makes it into my room.
I sit, in a room with other therapists each month for supervision, and for those who entered therapy before their training, their experiences of avoidance and of talking themselves out of it is not very different from what we're talking about here.
If you're considering therapy but you're worried, you're thoughts are putting you off or the thought of it sends your anxiety through the roof - it's all so blooming normal! So take a deep breath and ask yourself this - is your reaction to coming to therapy linked to what is bringing you here in the first place? If it is, take another breath - take the time you need and talk to the therapist you're seeking. Let them know that you're thinking about it but have some reservations, start to build the relationship up early, so it feels more comfortable and remember that even then; you're under no obligation to make an appointment. If you make an appointment and are struggling to go - let them know. It may not be the right time for you to go into therapy - this is your journey and you need to do what feels safe and right for you.