"I don't need therapy. I can cope." Personal barriers to mental health support.
Sadly, it is often those who need mental health support the most, that are least likely to get it.
What challenges may be contributing to this situation?
As we know it is largely social circumstances such as lack of resources and limited access to mental health advice and support that is an unfair and harsh reality that many face.
However, psychological barriers that are often outside of conscious awareness further prevent those who are vulnerable from seeking and getting mental health support. This is a key determinant that has to be factored in.
Avoidance and denial are two very common psychological barriers and can be the most difficult to overcome due to the nature of how they operate within us.
Who sees a therapist?
Psychotherapy is only for those who have "serious" mental health issues. Unfortunately, this misconception about who sees a psychotherapist stops many people from engaging in counselling and gaining great personal benefit.
How to recognise avoidance and denial in yourself?
you don't believe you have a problem
awareness of a problem but not seeking help
changing the subject to avoid talking about yourself
getting irritable or stressed when a certain topic is discussed
blaming others and circumstances
feeling embarrassed, ashamed, anxious or angry with the thought of having to go to therapy
you doubt if anyone can actually help you
you fear being judged
you doubt yourself and mistrust others
you believe your problems aren't big enough, don't matter, aren't that important
Can you recognise and relate to any of the above signs? Become aware of the signs of denial and avoidance and be curious about why they might be there. Reflecting on this can guide you to what underlying issues a mental health professional can help you with.
If you would like to consult on any of the above characteristics of denial and avoidance, please get in touch @ firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential complimentary assessment.