In our culture, psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is becoming increasingly accessible and popular amongst individuals of all walks of life. In a Sex and the City episode dedicated to the protagonist’s dilemma whether to begin therapy or not, her friend, Stanford Black, exclaims “This is New York. Even the therapists have therapists!” This is Los Angeles, and the same applies.
In other words, therapists stand behind their profession as evidenced by the fact that many of us make valuable use of the same “talking cure” as our clients. As much as we believe in therapy’s benefits, we also know it’s not easy and that there are many reasons people quit therapy.
Here are the top 5 reasons people quit therapy:
- It’s awkward: You enter a small room, sit on a couch across from a stranger and are supposed to talk to them for nearly an hour. Then you pay them. That’s weird!
- It’s expensive: Coming to therapy once a week (or more frequently) is a big time- and financial commitment that can feel overwhelming and often requires sacrifice of other endeavors.
- There’s no guarantees: It’s hard to believe that simply talking to a therapist could help you grow and heal. It can be hard to understand how this works, which is why therapists spend so many years training on doing such a thing!
- It’s hard: Therapy sets you up to feel and talk about painful feelings or experiences that you might avoid or ignore outside of the room. A dedicated hour of talking about previously unconfronted feelings can be unpleasant and even draining. As painful as it is, talking through hard feelings is healthier than enacting self-destructive behaviors.
- You picked the wrong therapist: Sometimes you and your therapist are simply not a good match. Just like dating, there is a certain chemistry needed to make a relationship launch. It can be awkward to bring this up and sometimes feels easier to just abruptly stop treatment rather than discussing it with your therapist and finding someone new.
Where have these reasons come up for you in other areas in your life?
All these reasons are, again, understandable and fair. At the same time, they can also be gorgeous opportunities for you to explore each reason as it holds truth in your life in general. In other words, this could be an opportunity to ask yourself, where else you feel like bolting because it’s awkward? Or — when else has your observation that a relationship is not a good fit been difficult to confront head-on with the other person?
When you think about it, we have all followed these reasons to quit other things in our lives; not just therapy but other endeavors that we had the courage to try out and move through. And so, being in therapy and wanting to quit could actually allow you to explore with your therapist and yourself these reasons, and the ways in which they had facilitated some growth-promoting decisions at times and have been detrimental to your journey in others.
At WILA, we provide affordable therapy, aiming to make treatment and exploration of these important themes doable for everyday people.Our therapists strive to make it easier for our clients to find a match that is good and to make it less awkward when it is not!
The WILA blog is brought to you by the heart and expert wordsmithing of our Blog Countess, Eva Patrick, PsyD. “My passion for blogging is tied to my appetite for practicing psychotherapy – they both allow me to surrender to the uncertainty of life, and to find my way out through words, stories and the discovery of new ideas for doing, being and telling these stories in the world.”