It turns out that one of my specialities is helping people who are reluctant to the idea of therapy, to actually seek out and participate in therapy.
I often get phone calls from people saying, "I am looking for a therapist for my son / wife / mother / cousin / friend..." Its hard to know how to respond. If an adult does not want therapy usually no amount of cajoling or begging will make them do it and nor should it.
Therapy means different things to different people but the great majority of people think it is sitting in an office across from someone you do not know or know if you like and sharing your most intimate thoughts, emotions, circumstances and issues with.
So when I am contacted by someone who is very unsure / reluctant, I often ask them if they would like to go for a walk with me, somewhere they are familiar with and feel safe. We do not have to discuss anything in particular but I am conscious that I want them to know right off the bat that this time and space is for them - they can use it to discuss and share the issues or feelings they have or they can use the time to just walk, breathe and begin to create a space that they feel comfortable opening up into. I reassure each client that each session is their own and weather permitting we can walk every session, or have a mixture or phone, online, walking and in the office sessions if they prefer.
Therapy is not a one size fits all, most of us have several issues that through time have compounded into habits and behaviours that do not serve us well. As a therapist, I am passionate about being to help my clients using as many modalities and treatments as I can (and I am trained to use).
Early on in my practice I was worried about leaving the safety of the office setting with a client but I began to feel restless in the office and noticed the same in my clients - not only the very anxious or stressed clients but clients who had a wide variety of issues. Being able to walk outside in the air with a client is very liberating - we become two people walking and talking in the outdoors as opposed to client and therapist sitting in an office in a building that has a sign saying "therapeutic services." There is something about being able to look around, use your senses, move your body, breathe deeply that can help even the most reluctant client to begin to feel that if this is what therapy can be then it is something that they might be able to do.
I am saddened when I hear from clients that therapy does not work for them - particularly when I learn about what they mean by this. Oftentimes they mean that the one type of therapy or therapist they were assigned did not really resonate with them - for example, when I went for therapy as a young person to deal with a trauma and anxiety, I tried CBT and for me, it was not very useful. I found a combination of therapies worked well for me, allowing me to deal with the underlying issue and the way in which I was dealing with stress and anxiety.
Therapy is not for everyone - but good therapy should not be a one size fits all.
Take good care,