Overcoming Resistance

Overcoming Resistance to Psychotherapy


  1. I don't have enough money.  If you had pneumonia youíd get treatment. Emotional health is no different. Money spent on therapy is an investment in yourself and your family. Health Insurance will often pay a portion of the bill.

  2. Therapy is for Sickies!  You don't have to be crazy to benefit from therapy. Therapy is for normal people who want expert help with their situation. People take classes to learn to drive a car, why not learn more about "driving" yourself?

  3. I donít have time for therapy!  The essence of time management is to TAKE time for the things you value. People need to take time out of their busy schedule for themselves. Therapy can be this time.

  4. I can help myself.  Is what you are doing working? If not, donít try harder, try differently. In the long run, many people do work out solutions to their lives. But therapy quickens the process. Wouldn't you rather have the results earlier rather than later in your life?

  5. Therapy is for people with real problems!  The stigma regarding therapy is fading into the past. When peopleís basic needs are met, they usually want to improve the quality of their life. Avoid the temptation to trivialize your problems.

  6. No one can help me.. Our problems at times seem overwhelming. Therapists are trained in methods to help you overcome your barriers to success. Professional therapists can give you the tools you need to help yourself.

  7. Therapy takes forever!  Multiple studies of psychotherapy indicate that about 50% of people improve within 8 to 11 sessions and 75% improve within 6 months to 1 year.

  8. Therapists only listen, what good is that? Empathic listening is helpful; it sets the stage for growth and change.  But therapy has changed from it's old stereotypes.  Most therapists are rather active, giving lots of feedback and suggestions for change.

  9. I tried therapy once; it didn't help.  Research suggests that the right therapy, with the right therapist at the right time is helpful.  People who are successful with things like diets, will generally make several false starts before they are successful.  Don't give up.

  10. How can you get someone you know will be good?  Get several referrals from people you trust.  Be a good consumer and interview several therapists to see who you are most comfortable with.  Ask about licensure, whether they have experience with your problem and how they would help you with this problem.  Be sure to pay attention to how you feel about this person.

  11. It all happened in the past.  What good is it to dredge it up now?  We can't change the past, but we can change how it has shaped us.  Some therapies use the past as a window to the present while others are goal-oriented and future focused.

  12. I was always like this, I can't change.  At times, it is hard not to feel overwhelmed and discouraged.  Life problems are often difficult to overcome without professional help.  With motivation and effort, however, even the most persistent problems can improve.

  13. I have medical problem, why am I being sent to a psychologist?  Many medical problems can be helped through changed in lifestyle, reducing stress, or through changing your ways of thinking.  Also, many medical conditions disrupt your life or relationships and psychotherapy can help with these changes.


Wilmes-Reitz Psychological

23632 Calabasas Rd., Suite 202

 Calabasas, California  91302

(818) 591-8270



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