'I don't need therapy' is a rubbish answer

May 15 2019

‘What do you do?’, people will ask me. ‘I’m a therapist’, I reply. I watch people’s eyebrows rise as they look at me with slightly more caution, evaluating me evaluating them.


The reality is I’m not evaluating them, I’m looking at them as a human being that I don’t know, curious, patient and waiting for the next transaction of dialogue. In that moment the fear of what I might be doing to them is exactly what they are doing to me, they are judging me. All of this is careful, tentative and wary. I have often wondered, and occasionally had the guts to ask, ‘why are you so nervous, what do you think is happening?’


People are scared of being judged, but this is the beauty of counselling and psychotherapy, no judgement happens here.


‘I don’t need counselling’ is so commonly said to me and the whole reason I titled this article after this is because I think it’s important to express to you how need is not the appropriate word here. Let me tell you more about what counselling and therapy is, and then you can make your own conclusions.


What is Therapy then?


Therapy, especially the therapy that I offer isn’t going to fix you. I don’t have the answers and I don’t pretend to. What we can do, is together explore what you’ve been dealing with in the present, the past, and in your future mind. What is it like for you to have a boss who makes you feel a bit small; what is it like for you to wonder if your partner is attracted to you anymore; what is it like for you to have got a promotion; what is it like for you to be struggling to have children?


You may notice that I include a positive in there. The positive is just as important, and with my clients I want to hear about the positives too. I want to see the happy and proud and content version of you, because it all helps me get to know you. If I can really start to understand how it feels to be you, then together we can take a look at that in more depth, notice your blind spots, you can share your experiences. However, this is confined to the 50 minutes a week, where I, other than my name, you know nothing more that that I am just a therapist, you know nothing about me outside of this room. Your feelings, thoughts and concerns all stay there, carefully contained in that hour, that room, that therapist.


Barely anyone can say life is easy, can they? Unless life is easy then you at some point would benefit from the therapy hour, but it doesn’t mean to say you need it. I will infrequently feel that clients need therapy, but in every single case, I would say that is helpful for them.


Don’t be scared of my job, don’t be scared of what therapy is, don’t be scared of what people will think of you if you go to counselling. It’s not scary, it is anything but. It’s there to make the scary less so. Give it a go.


Read about my style and my journey to become a therapist here