The decision to come into therapy is, of course, highly personal and varies from individual to individual. Sometimes it comes after a traumatic event like a breakup, the death of a loved one, or any kind of loss that seems to have “pulled the rug out from under” you. Other times people find themselves reaching out for help without being able to pinpoint any one reason or event, but instead describe a persistent sense of things “not working,” of feeling sad, anxious, and/or bewildered, or perhaps agitated, angry, or resentful. They may complain of longstanding feelings of low self-esteem that have kept them in a low-paying job or a problematic relationship; or they may feel they’ve been “cheated by life” because things aren’t going the way they were supposed to – maybe they didn’t get the promotion they went for, or the person, or they experienced some other kind of intense disappointment. Perhaps a parent, partner, co-worker or friend has sensed that “something is wrong” and suggested (gently or forcefully) that they seek help, or maybe the impetus came from within.
Whatever the reason(s) for making that first call, it takes a great deal of courage to put your heart and soul in the hands of another, and to trust that this person whom you don’t yet know will have the sensitivity to understand what is wrong and the wisdom and skills to help make things better.