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I don’t know where it came from, but there’s an idea floating around about therapy that links it to weakness. It may be implied rather than stated but it runs deep in some cultures; seeking help with a personal difficulty implies that the seeker is somehow broken, inadequate or helpless.

It’s ironic that while it is seen as irresponsible not to seek help with a physical illness, there is a taboo against wanting to fix an ailment of the spirit (if ‘spirit’ turns you off, try ‘psyche’).

in a world so preoccupied with happiness, success, wellbeing and fulfilment, there is an equal and opposite tension the deflects people from the things that can help a person achieve them.

I’m not saying that therapy (or coaching, counselling, or the many other possible routes one can take), is the only way. Plenty of people manage very well on their own, and there are lots of resouces out there that make ‘therapy’, in the conventional sense unnecessary.

Choosing a path that leads to self-knowledge is a step that requires courage and commitment. Personal growth is an inevitable side-effect of living anyway, getting help, looking for guidance – or whatever you want to call it – is a sensible way to help the process along, and it can change your outlook forever.

Rather saying or thinking things like “There’s nothing wrong with me”, “Counselling is for losers”, or “I don’t do therapy”*, how about “I’m not strong/brave enough to sort myself out”, or “I don’t take my wellbeing seriously, so I won’t get help”.

Self-improvement happens as we live and learn and for all sorts of reasons that natural process can use a bit of help and support. Either when we hit a particular challenge or crisis, or because we have picked up habits or ideas about ourselves that we’d like to change.

Making that choice is not for everyone, sure, but don’t run away with the idea that people who take themselves seriously are somehow weak or inadequate.

See also

Whats In a Word, Therapy Means Healing

Good Reasons for Avoiding Therapy

 

* These are all things that I have heard said.

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