How Do You Know if You're Ready for Therapy?

The idea of therapy can be, well, a little weird. You meet a stranger, sit in a room with them alone for an hour, tell them intimate details of your life (maybe some things that even your closest friends and family members don’t know). You wrap up the appointment, sometimes get assigned a goal to work on, and schedule to do it all again the following week.

It’s scary and many folks are anxious during their first appointment, which is totally understandable. When you schedule an appointment with a therapist, usually it’s because there’s something in your life that you want to change, Maybe it’s your relationship with food, your relationship with your body, how often you’re worrying about seemingly trivial things, how sad and unmotivated you feel, etc. People seek counseling for a million different reasons, but that underlying hope of change is almost always present.

Change is also scary. We develop patterns and habits that we carry with us for years and years. Even if those patterns are disrupting your life, they’re at least familiar. It may sound strange, but it can be comfortable to live with mental heath concerns if you’ve become accustomed to them. Therapy asks you to begin to make changes so that you can alleviate that distress.

But that’s all we do- we ask you to consider to change. I don’t (and can’t) make people change. I also don’t have a magic wand that I can wave to make your struggles disappear. Counseling does require that you develop an insight into your struggles and work towards goals to improve your overall well-being. It’s not as simple as coming to an appointment once a week.

That being said, your therapist understands how difficult it is to change. I meet my clients where they are and gently encourage them to make progress towards their goals all while being supportive of them throughout the journey. Change is scary, but imagine how your life could be different if you were able to work on the things you’re struggling with.

Emily Teegarden