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  • Charles West

Therapy ≠ Failure

Going to therapy is often associated with getting help, wanting to change or even needing to change. It’s often seen as a last stop or place to turn to in crisis. I’ve heard therapy described as a sign of weakness, shameful or something you wouldn’t want other people to know about, like it’s admitting you’re messed up or “crazy.” For some, therapy means you failed.


Therapy can certainly be a place to go when you’re exasperated and out of options, and there is an element of admitting 'something isn’t going as well as I'd like it to' when you go to therapy. This isn’t admitting failure though or anything to be embarrassed of. We all have things in our lives that we're doing well and some things we could do better. We all have aspects of ourselves and our lives that we’d like to see different - to change, start, quit, or improve. Therapy can be helpful for addressing these areas and I don’t think I’ve met a person yet who wouldn’t benefit from it.


Therapy can help increase your self-awareness, allowing you to see yourself and others more clearly. It can help increase your ability to choose, to make decisions that you actually want to. Therapy can change the way you relate to others and expect to be related to. It can make you more confident, more understanding and more patient. It can help you become a better spouse, parent, coworker or friend, more free to love and be loved by others, more free to play, to be curious and to express yourself.


These are therapeutic goals and achievements that benefit you and the people around you. They are changes to be proud of. There may be failures to address along the way, but starting the process is not a sign of failure.

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