resistance to changeA couple of days ago, Chuck wrote about why some people either believe they can’t get better or decide not to get treatment for their anxiety or OCD. Some readers had other ideas like having no money or not having access to good cognitive behavioral therapy.

Here are six ideas for overcoming such obstacles to change:

  1. Money. Many people lack the financial resources for getting help. Some people can’t afford therapy at all, others have medical insurance that doesn’t cover mental health in a comprehensive way.

    Try contacting the nearest college or university. Most colleges have psychology clinics that have well supervised upper level students or graduate students work with clients in order to gain experience. Costs for such services are often modest and most use a sliding scale. Community mental health agencies also use sliding scales to charge for services.

  2. Access. One reader mentioned that in her area therapists are not trained in the use of cognitive or behavioral therapies. That’s a tough one. Today, most programs in psychology or social work provide training in CBT, so ask around. If no one in your area uses these approaches, you might offer to bring in materials for your local therapist to use with you.

    Almost all problems have self-help books that outline the procedures for helping people through a cognitive behavioral approach. You can borrow these books at a local library or purchase used copies on line. Many therapists are at least somewhat familiar with cbt to the extent that they would be willing to work with you on self-help materials.

  3. Too stressed out to face your troubles. People with emotional problems are often frightened of getting help. They believe that facing their troubles will make things worse. That’s just not true. Most people feel relieved to finally talk about and do something about what is bothering them. Therapy helps.
  4. What if I try to get better and fail? People worry that if they try and fail they’ll just feel worse than ever. Again, most people find that when they admit they have a problem and go seek help, they will get better. Maybe not perfect (pretty impossible) but definitely better. I believe there’s almost no such thing as out and out failure in therapy—you almost always at least learn a few things.
  5. Too busy. Aren’t we all? But the reality is that feeling too much anxiety or depression actually makes people less efficient. When people are worried or depressed, they don’t think clearly. They tend to make careless errors, forget things, and find it hard to keep focused. The time consumed by therapy will be more than made up by increased productivity in most cases.
  6. Too hopeless. Some people believe that their anxiety or depression is a part of their lives and that no amount of help will make them feel better. Feelings of hopelessness are common in those with emotional troubles. Try to set aside those feelings and take a chance on getting better with help.

If you struggle with emotional problems, read about other people and their struggles on psychcentral, look for some suggestions or ideas that other people have tried out. People care and want to help. Good luck and take care!

University clinic photo available at Shutterstock