Home » Anxiety » Blogs » Anxiety and OCD Exposed » Six Ways to Combat Resistance to Change

Six Ways to Combat Resistance to Change

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

Six Ways to Combat Resistance to Change

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D.

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as personality disorders, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders. Dr. Smith is a widely published author of articles and books to the profession and the public, including: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2E), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth, and Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be? Her website is:

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Smith, L. (2012). Six Ways to Combat Resistance to Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Jan 2012
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.