There’s a misconception that going to meet with a psychologist is shameful, or it’s a sign that there is something wrong with you. I am going to give you two reasons why it is actually very smart to meet with a psychologist.
Is it shameful to attend school? Of course not! We realize that it is smart to attend school to gain more knowledge and skills. That’s why we admire people who are improving themselves through education.
So why do we have such a backward attitude when it comes to the ways we deal with our emotions and stress?
When you stop to think about it, we absorbed our emotional reactions and ways of coping with stress from our parents when we were very young. For example, if your family handled conflict through loud words and disagreements, it is likely that you currently carry on this same tradition. In contrast, if your parents never argued, but buried resentments, chances are that you behave similarly.
Psychotherapy provides an education in learning new ways to cope with and handle stress. You learn to identify what you feel, how to regulate and reduce intense emotional states, how to deal with difficult situations and how to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a productive manner. That’s why it’s smart to speak with a psychologist.
Sometimes, emotional and behavioral problems are learned at an early age. Other times, their origin is more complex, and is an interaction of what we learned, traumas we may have experienced and our own unique biological makeup. Let’s look at things using the medical model. We regard people as wise when they quickly seek medical attention for physical symptoms. This is because many illnesses are treated most effectively with early detection and treatment. Likewise, people with emotional and behavioral issues are also smart for seeking psychological care. They are that much closer to experiencing relief and opening a new world of possibilities for themselves.
So, talking to a psychologist is the smart thing to do if you:
• Have difficulty controlling your temper,
• Are plagued by anxiety, depression or loneliness
• Struggle with other difficult emotions,
• Experience difficulty in personal or work relationships
• Behave in ways that make you ashamed of yourself and much more.
In conclusion, speaking with a psychologist leads to healthier resolutions of problems, relationships and improved self-esteem. How can that be shameful?
Dr. Tamara Sofair-Fisch, PhD
Clinical Psychologist (NJ lic # 1651).
Private Practice in West Orange NJ
and Lawrenceville NJ.
Current focus: Mapping and Mastery of your Inner World: An innovative Guide to Self-Mastery