Fears & hurdles in therapy

In today's vlog I address some of the biggest concerns people tend to have when considering therapy, particularly for survivors of sexual abuse.  It certainly isn't inclusive of all the fears people have, just some of the most common.

What fears did/do you have about starting therapy?  Can you relate to some of the ones I mentioned?  If you were able to push through the fear, what helped you do it?  Did your fears come true (hopefully they did not)?  I'd love to hear what your experience has been like.

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8 comments on “Fears & hurdles in therapy”

  1. I had nearly every fear you mentioned. The biggest would have the being judged and rejection, or just the fact that she wouldn't believe me. (All my insecurities being projected onto her). making that initial phone call was the hardest thing I had to do, I was that client you speak of that was tripping over her words. 🙂 yet NONE of my fears came true, although I worried about them for many many sessions. She eventually gained my trust.
    Yet now as I find myself playing with the idea of seeing a different therapist (I don't want to but it's been suggested I do by my dr) I find myself projecting those exact same fears once more.

    1. Hi Suzanne.
      Thanks so much for commenting. I'm sorry for the delay in my response. I've had some problems with my website and haven't been able to access the admin.

      It will be so helpful for others to hear about your experience, to know there are "real" people who experience some of the things they relate to and not just me talking about it. I really appreciate your willingness to share yourself and your experience.

      I hope you are able to remind yourself of how much fear you had going into your last therapeutic relationship and how none of the fears came true to help you as you begin the process again.

      Thanks again!

  2. Hi. I was terrified of going to therapy too. Seems like I was afraid of being judged, and I knew saying what happened would make everything so real for me. Saw a counselor years ago when I was in college but only talked about some things and not others. I stopped going after a while, which was not good in the long run. I concentrated on other things and pushed it all to the back of my mind, but it never went away. My abuse has caused so many issues for me, from freaking out when I see my doctor to avoiding relationships completely. I didn't really intend to go back to therapy, but after talking with a friend about my reaction to constantly seeing the first person to hurt me, I decided to get some information on any possible legal recourse if I ever got to that point. I ended up on the phone for an hour in tears with the crisis hotline. They allowed me to set up an appointment. The hardest thing I did was show up for that appointment. Before my first session was an intake, so after that my appointment was scheduled. Unfortunately, my mother died between the intake and the appointment, so I had to cancel. I thought really hard about whether I would reschedule and decided to do it. I was facing the most difficult time in my life with my mom's death, and I've carried so much guilt because I never told her about anything that happened to me. I was still very scared (and I'm nervous before every session), but I decided that I can't live the way I have been. I also decided that I'm worth fighting for. It's all very painful and raw, but I felt like I had to do something. My only worry is that I see a counselor though an organization where the sessions are no cost, but there is a limit (although my counselor has extended mine), and I will probably have to seek out someone else soon, someone who accepts my insurance. Anyway, my counselor has not been judgmental at all. She hasn't been shocked by anything I've told her...and that's something I was afraid of. I have trusted her enough to tell her about two other incidents that I don't share, mostly because I still feel really guilty about a lot of it. The point is that most of what I was afraid would happen didn't. And I wanted to say I first saw some of your videos last month I think. Please keep sharing if you can. I'm seeing my counselor and I have a friend who is dealing with the same thing, but your videos help A LOT. Don't know if you realize how big of an impact you have on some of us. Thank you so much

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment...and your very nice words. I really appreciate people taking their time and the risk in reaching out. I also appreciate you sharing your experience. There are so many people who have found themselves feeling the same feelings and facing similar situations. The point you raise about your fears not coming true are so, so important. When we allow fear to keep us from doing something we are able to continue to believe that had we done it, whatever bad thing we thought might happen would have happened, therefore "it's a good thing I didn't do that". Hearing from various people that it didn't happen helps tremendously.

      You are correct....you are absolutely worth it! And you deserve it.

      I'm glad to hear your counselor was able to extend the sessions. I wish every organization was able to that too. It can be hard to start over, but sometimes it can be a very therapeutic experience.

      Thanks again!
      Peggy

  3. Hi, Peggy!

    I love your videos. I stumbled across them on YouTube recently when I was searching for videos on healing from sexual abuse.

    Lately, boundary-setting has been a particularly prominent struggle for me. It always has been, but I am really aware of right now, given some circumstances at work and home.

    Would you be able to create a video about setting healthy boundaries, please? In particular, I am struggling with feeling like I have a right to say no, after years of being valued for saying yes. The sexual abuse has really skewed my ability to trust myself and to even know what I want, so setting boundaries is a huge risk for me. I often feel like a terrible person when I say no, but I am also exhausted on every level from not setting healthy boundaries.

    Any thoughts you have on this topic would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    1. Hi Jill. Thanks so much for taking the time to watch and comment. I'm happy you found us 🙂

      Boundaries is a great topic! Thanks for the suggestion. Difficulty trusting yourself, your wants and needs, is such a huge factor in many aspects of the damage and healing from abuse. I'm sure many people will connect with what you've shared.

      Thanks for connecting!
      Peggy

  4. I ran across your website and videos while doing a search on a book my therapist recommended (The Courage to Heal). I found your talk on our fears of beginning therapy particularly interesting as I had had each and every thought you mentioned. I had begun and quit therapy at least 5 times before my latest try. Each time I found it impossible to reveal what had actually brought me there...and each time I quit when the therapist began to dig deeper (max 3 sessions). This latest endeavor into therapy has been different. First of all I found someone who specializes in sexual trauma. Then I promised myself I would tell her immediately why I was there (I was unlikely to summon the courage if I didn't do it right away), then I promised myself that this time I would not quit ( and even bought myself a bracelet for each appointment I showed up for...any motivation to get me there). I'm not sure what it is about this particular therapist that allowed me to connect with her, but she's been great. I'm not going to lie. The sessions are hard...they honestly suck most of the time, but I keep showing up to get my butt kicked again and again and am hopeful that (as I've been told) it will get better. I remind myself often that my kids deserve a happy mother, my husband deserves a happy wife, and I deserve to be happy as well...Thank you for your work. The videos are a nice resource when I'm working through things on my own.

    1. Hi Renee,

      Welcome to Courageous Journeys! Thanks for sharing with us.
      Your therapeutic process is much like most people's. The majority of people I have worked with have been to therapy before, sometimes many different therapists. Working with someone who really understands what it means to be a survivor of abuse is so important. I'm glad you've found someone you've been able to connect with and feel understood by.
      I appreciate your honesty about the difficulty of the sessions and your determination to stick with it.
      You are right, you do deserve to be happy! 🙂

      Peggy

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All the information I share on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Your participation on the site does not constitute a therapeutic relationship. If you are struggling and need immediate support, please contact RAINN @ https://rainn.org/ or call your local emergency services.
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