Your Biggest Fears About Therapy Debunked

Spoiler alert: it’s really not all that scary.

by TALIA ADLER ★ FEB. 18, 2019

Mental Health. It is easily one of the most avoided subjects, yet one in four young adults deal with mental illness. So many of us struggle, yet asking for help feels shameful and attention seeking. If you have been considering therapy for awhile, there are probably concerns you have that are holding you back. That’s why we broke down the common misconceptions and fears that you may be worried about.

My problems are basic/my problems are not enough.

This is the most common concern out there. Everyone seems to think if they don’t have some interesting, heartbreaking story that they are not deserving of therapy. This could not be more false. If you would like to speak to a counselor about anything, that is valid. End of story. You don’t need to wait until you are “sad enough” or “anxious enough.” Therapists are literally there to help you through problems that you struggle with. It is better to seek help before you reach a breaking point rather than when you hit an all time low.

I’m afraid the therapist will judge me.

A therapist of mine once said in response to this: “we don’t care.” Obviously, your therapist cares about your well-being and progress, but logically there is no reason for a therapist to judge you. They are only there to help you. Your therapist will not sit around and think about your situation in their personal life. Most likely, they have already helped dozens of people with the exact issues you are struggling with.

It will be awkward and I won’t know what to say.

It is not your job to lead the conversation: it is the therapist’s job. All you need to do is show up, keep an open mind, and be honest. Your therapist will handle the rest. You don’t have to answer any questions you do not want to answer, and if you are feeling nervous, vocalize that. Don’t let something as silly as fearing an awkward silence or two stop you from getting the help you need.

Therapy will make things worse.

Sometimes, it gets worse before it gets better. However, it really depends on the case. If you have an entire past to unpack and process, it may be difficult for a couple of weeks to have those old emotions resurface. But, eventually it gets a lot better and you start to feel lighter and freer. If you are in therapy for a more situational issue, therapy may actually help you after the very first session. Regardless, therapy can always help you, even if it is hard at first.

Where do I even start?

Here at Syracuse, we are lucky to have free, confidential counseling provided to us. All you have to do is call the Syracuse Counseling Center (315-443-4715) and schedule an appointment. If showing up or even simply calling in gives you too much anxiety, utilize your friends. Bring a friend to your first appointment so you are not only less nervous but held accountable to show up.

Asking for help can feel scary and unsettling, but many will tell you it is the best decision they ever made. There are people on our very own campus who truly want to help and support you. Don’t let these short four years go by without asking for help. You only get to experience college once, so do what you need to do to make your time here happy and fulfilling. You deserve it!

Tayler Bradford