Why Is It So Hard to Go to Therapy?

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You know why you don’t want to go to the dentist. After all, who wants a drill on their teeth? And pretty much every annual exam comes with uncomfortable tests that everyone would rather avoid. But is the same true for therapy? Why is it so hard to go to therapy?

The likely reason it’s so challenging to go to therapy is the stigma that still surrounds mental health concerns. Nearly half of Americans believe therapy is a sign of weakness. This belief exists even though one out of every six Americans was in therapy in 2020.

One out of every six people took steps to better their emotional health, the same way they overcame fear to care for their physical or oral health. It doesn’t seem weak. It seems brave and responsible.

How to Know If You Need Therapy

Therapy helps people with various mental illnesses and emotional challenges. It can help eliminate or control symptoms so the person can feel better. Counseling isn’t just for people with mental illness. It’s for anyone who has trouble regulating their emotions or who wants to talk something over with a caring, compassionate, yet unbiased expert.  

Therapy treats emotional health concerns including:

  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Experiencing trauma
  • Medical illness
  • Difficulty coping with daily life
  • Grief and loss
  • Mental health disorders
  • Addiction

If you’re experiencing any of these concerns or don’t feel like you’re living up to your expectations for your life, you should consider therapy.

What Keeps People From Seeking Therapy?

The stigma surrounding mental health issues and caring for your mental health is the primary reason it’s so difficult for people to go to therapy. But once people get help from a mental health professional, they’re almost always glad they did. You can work through any issues that are holding you back from therapy.

You Don’t Know Where to Go

Finding the right counselor for you is intimidating enough to make many people delay going to therapy. Sometimes finding the right therapist takes time and requires meeting with multiple mental health professionals before you find the right fit. Whether you interview multiple counselors or connect with the first one you meet, your mental health is worth the investment of time. Once you find the right counselor, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to search again.

Not sure where to begin looking for a counselor? Try All Counseling’s searchable counselor directory.

You Don’t Know What to Expect

Uncertainty frequently results in procrastination. You may put off going to therapy because you don’t know what to expect. But you are totally in control of your treatment. Many visits will be like having a conversation with a doctor in an office. Your counselor would discuss other non-talk therapeutic approaches with you, and you would have the opportunity to agree to any changes in methods.

In your first therapy appointment, you and your counselor get to know each other and determine if the fit is right.

Your therapist likely will ask you questions in the first appointment like:

  • What brought you to therapy?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • How have you been handling these feelings?

The counselor will also ask you general medical information and questions about your history and current living situation. Then they will answer any questions you have.

In the first session, you and your counselor will agree on a general therapy treatment plan. This plan lays the groundwork for what to expect in future sessions.

You Don’t Know How You’ll Pay

Once you find a therapist you’re interested in, you should determine how you’ll pay for the appointment. The fees therapists charge range from $75-$200 per session. Many health insurance plans cover therapy, but the coverage varies. Even with insurance, you’ll likely need to pay a copay of $10-$40. Check with your insurance administrator or the counselor’s office to determine if they accept your insurance and how much you’ll need to pay for each appointment. Many therapists offer special payment arrangements for people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford the fee.

You’re Afraid of What You’ll Learn

Any health-related diagnosis can be frightening, including those related to mental health issues. It makes sense if you put off therapy because you’re afraid of your diagnosis or what you’ll learn about yourself. Working on your mental health can be intimidating. And there may be times when you wonder if therapy is working. But here’s the thing. If you’re considering counseling, you know you need to go. That means the uncertainty of what you’ll discover is probably more distressing than knowing the truth.

All Counseling Understands that Going to Therapy is Hard

Just get in the door. Making the appointment and walking into the counselor’s office is a brave step that sets you on the path to improving your mental health. The majority of people who go to therapy report positive results. It’s worth pushing beyond fear. All Counseling wants to help you find the right counselor to get the mental health support you deserve. Use our searchable therapist directory to find the counselor you need.


Shocking number of Americans say 2020 pushed them to try therapy for the first time – digitalhub. (2021). Retrieved 21 October 2021, from https://swnsdigital.com/2021/01/shocking-number-of-americans-say-2020-pushed-them-to-try-therapy-for-the-first-time/

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