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Why Are We So Afraid of Therapy?

Therapy can be one of the more intimidating elements of addiction recovery treatment for many of us. We are often skeptical about its effectiveness. We assume we won’t be able to connect with our therapists in any real way. We doubt we’ll want to open up to them about the most problematic issues in our lives. At the root of our cynicism and skepticism, and our other forms of resistance, usually lies fear. What are we so afraid of when it comes to therapy?

We know that in order for our work in therapy to be effective, we’ll need to delve deep into our issues. We won’t be able to talk superficially about our concerns if we really want to heal ourselves. This means confronting years-old unresolved hurts and unhealed wounds. It means facing our trauma head on rather than using our addictions to distract ourselves from it or numb ourselves to it. The thought of this is just too scary for many of us, and we find it so overwhelming and terrifying that our instinct is to run away and avoid it at all costs. We have a hard time admitting our fear, so we often will opt against therapy, making excuses as to why we ought not go. We convince ourselves that therapy is a waste of time and money, that we’re better off solving our problems on our own, that merely complaining to a stranger isn’t going to help us in any way. We’re hesitant to research therapists or to give one a try. We tell ourselves therapy just isn’t for us.

Another reason we fear therapy is because we fear judgment. Rationally we might know a therapist is supposed to be unbiased, objective and nonjudgmental, but our fear can be so pervasive that we fear the worst and assume our therapist might judge us for our past mistakes, our shortcomings, wrongdoings and flaws. We fear being judged by loved ones, or by society in general, for needing therapy. We don’t want to be labeled mentally ill, and we don’t want to be perceived as crazy. We would often rather suppress our difficult emotions than do the hard, scary work of confronting them. We fear vulnerability. We fear exposing the truth of who we are and our deepest pain. Working with a total stranger with whom we don’t feel comfortable and haven’t forged a connection can seem illogical and pointless. We decide it’s something we simply don’t want to do, when deep down our resistance is usually stemming from fear.

Once we’re ready to tackle our recovery program head on, therapy can be one of the most helpful tools along the way.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.