John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

Joining forces

Joining Forces

Many people avoid going to therapy because they're afraid to reveal a personal problem. They fear being judged, diagnosed, or possibly looked down upon. In a Facebook culture, where everybody is always taking selfies to prove what a great time they’re having, who wants to admit they are depressed, anxious, or struggling to cope with life?

Nah. No thanks, doc. I'll keep my private life to myself.

But before you dismiss therapy outright, let me tell you this. What I do is join forces with people. I do not judge, moralize, criticize, or condemn. I understand that human beings are flawed, vulnerable, irrational, and occasional conflicted.

There are no perfect human beings. Everyone struggles, sooner or later. Life is hard.

I cannot make life less hard for you — no one can. Nor can I change your past, your history, the things that have happened to you. What I can do, however, is join forces with you as you try to make progress towards some goal.

Joining Forces

This is what therapy is really about.

It’s about joining forces with a professional as you work to address your most pressing concerns.

Sometimes when people first walk into a therapist’s office they fear they’ll be judged or scrutinized. Maybe they feel embarrassed or ashamed because they have a problem, and maybe that problem is difficult to talk about. But what therapists know is that everybody has problems or issues sooner or later, and that none of us is perfect.

Therapy is about working together. Therapy is about forming an alliance. Therapy is about establishing goals and working towards them with support, encouragement, and insight.

Why is a therapist valuable to you? Yes, we are trained in human behavior, and yes we have experience in helping others. But we may also have a measure of objectivity about you that you may not have. When you are trying to get unstuck or see your way through a difficult time or alter a pattern of behavior, this can make a big difference.