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What if I Don’t Believe in Therapy?

Can Therapy Help Treat Depression and Anxiety if You Don’t Believe in Therapy?

By: Tim Gilleand, Therapist

Does therapy work

Entering therapy for the first time often generates many questions or concerns. Who is this person? What kind of agenda may they be pushing? How can they help me when I’ve tried over and over? What is counseling? What if I don’t believe in it? These are all fairly normal and healthy questions. Who is this person to just step into your life and begin pushing some agenda if they do not know you personally? That is exactly why it is important that the therapist and client start the therapeutic process by developing rapport and mutual understanding of where each other are coming from. The first 2-3 sessions will be spent collecting information to be able to form a full picture of the situation before any plan for treatment would be discussed. When it is time to formulate a treatment plan, the therapist and client will work collaboratively on a mutually agreed plan. There will be no therapist-driven agenda that you as the client would not agree with.

Professionally Trained Therapists Connect With You

Counseling is always client-focused and never advice-giving. Therapists are skilled at connecting through empathy, walking through past wounds, healing from trauma, educating regarding mental health, teaching skills, processing life events, and developing a plan for a hopeful future.

Margarita Tartakovsy, MS at PsychCentral1 details several myths about therapy. She says that many people believe therapy is just like talking to a friend, but in response, she says “it’s important to have friends to talk to, but a therapist is trained to understand these matters more deeply and therefore is able to offer more than just good advice.” She also talks about the very common myth that seeking therapy means you are weak or damaged. To that she says: “There’s nothing weak or crazy about working on specific problems or trying to overcome intrusive symptoms.” If you were sick physically, you would see a doctor for help, so why not when your mental state is weakened?

Giving Therapy a Try

Personally, I was you about 12 years ago. My wife wanted to go to couple’s counseling. I didn’t believe in it. Finally, I agreed to go by telling her that I was only going to hear the counselor tell her how wrong she was. I may have gone for the wrong reasons, but I am so glad that I did! I really had no idea what therapy was all about. The therapist was able to speak into our lives in ways I never imagined. I was taught skills that I will never forget. I was so impressed with the process that it led me down a path that has cultivated in my own career as a therapist myself. So, having said that, if I can encourage you to give it a try – even if you do not believe in it at the moment – I believe you will have the opportunity to witness a life-changing process.

Specifically, with anxiety and depression you are going to find an ally that actually understands what you are going through. A mental health counselor will understand exactly why you are not able to “just get over it”. They will be able to educate you regarding anxiety or depression causes, symptoms, and will teach empirically supported interventions to cope and to decrease the issues you may be facing.

Faith-Based Counseling Improves Spiritual Health

For those seeking Christian counseling, you will find another level of compassion, grace, and mercy stepping through your door. Spiritual health can also be affected by depression and anxiety. Christian counselors can help to evaluate your spiritual health, help you to overcome the barriers keeping you from a more intimate relationship with God, and help to integrate faith principles into healing. Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV). Through time, investment, courage, and commitment to the process: transformation can take place in every area of your life.

If you’re still undecided about how counseling or therapy can help you, contact us today to learn how we can coach you and your family into a healthier mental state.

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1Tartakovsky, M. (2016). Therapists Spill: 11 Myths About Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 22, 2016, from