10 Reasons Why People Refuse to Talk to Therapists


reasons people refuse talk to

I’ve heard it so often over the years: “He’s going through a hard time,” someone will say about a friend, “but he doesn’t believe in psychotherapy.” Or perhaps it’s, “My mom could really use some therapy, but she’d never do that.” As a psychologist in private practice, I often hear stories of people who could really use someone to talk to, but for whatever reason, refuse to see a therapist.

Following are the 10 most common anti-therapy attitudes I’ve heard over the years—along with the reasons why each doesn’t really hold up. 

1. “I’d rather talk to my friends.”

Of course, you should talk to your friends and your family. It’s important to find support when times are hard. Therapy doesn’t supplant friendship—but then again, friendship can’t do the work of psychotherapy, either. A therapeutic relationship is more than a friendship: Not only does it provide support, but it challenges you, allowing you to gain valuable insights into yourself.

Therapists are trained listeners who can help you find the source of your problems, even if the source is your thoughts, your family, or you. And your friends aren’t going to sit down to talk about you all the time, every week, are they?

2. “It costs too much.”

All too often, insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of psychotherapy—so it does become an investment in yourself. It’s true that there are times when the expense is not practical, but sometimes, an investment in therapy today can head off much more costly, life-affecting problems in the future.

Related: The 4 Most Valuable Things I Learned From My Therapists

3. “I don’t have time.”

If you have the kind of problems that aren’t going to go away, finding a few hours to deal with them now might actually save you time, as well as money and heartache, in the end.

4. “I saw a psychologist once, and it didn’t help.”

Every psychologist is an individual, with a unique personality, so there’s no reason to believe that a new therapist would fail you in the exact same way that the old one did. Very likely, the person you saw back then was just not someone you could connect with. Another psychologist will, by definition, be different. 

5. “What good is talking going to do?”

Lasting personality change does result from psychotherapy, which has been shown in a recent study to reduce neuroticism and increase extraversion. It also often helps just to have someone you trust, who knows you well and with whom you can talk about difficult topics.

The working alliance you forge with your therapist is a relationship, and as you develop that relationship, permanent change becomes possible.

6. “I’d feel weird talking about this stuff to a stranger.”

In my experience, this seems more like a problem than it really is. Most therapists are skilled at making you feel comfortable quickly and do not want to come across as judgmental strangers. If you do have a few sessions with a new therapist but don’t feel comfortable, you can try being open about your concerns, or you can seek out a different therapist.

Therapy is a relationship that is both professional and personal, and the alliance you form with your psychologist is an important factor in the treatment—all of which is to say, it won’t take much time for your therapist to no longer feel like a stranger.

Related: 11 Signs You Need To Talk To A Therapist

7. “Therapists don’t say anything; they just sit there and judge you.”

That depends on what kind of psychologist you’re seeing. Many of them will tell you right off the bat that they like to say what’s on their minds. Many of them offer practical advice or provide detailed feedback about the way they understand you and your problems. Even the therapists who do more listening than talking are not judging you—they are quietly working to perceive your problems your way, empathically.

And if you do feel judged by your therapist, you should bring up those feelings. It might seem uncomfortable at first, but your therapist will most likely be glad to talk about any feelings that arise in the course of treatment—including those brought up by the therapist or the treatment itself.

8. “Therapists don’t really care about you; they do it for the money.”

In general, people choose psychotherapy as a career because they care about other people and want to help. I don’t know anyone who became a therapist to get rich.

9. “If I was depressed and I wanted to feel better, I’d just take Prozac.”

Psychiatric medications don’t work equally well for everyone. Plus, every psychoactive drug has additional effects—also called “side effects,” if you prefer the language used by the pharmaceutical industry—that can be quite serious, like weight gain or sexual dysfunction.

On the other hand, psychotherapy has no chemical side effects and represents an active, positive coping strategy. Even in the cases where psychiatric medication maintenance is the treatment of choice, it often works best when supplemented with weekly psychotherapy. 

Related: Top 10 Reasons You Should Conquer Your Fears According to Therapists

10. “I wouldn’t want to air my dirty laundry out in public.”

Psychotherapy is confidential, and the material discussed in therapy sessions is protected by law. As long as you do not present a danger to anyone, what you choose to talk about with your therapist will not leave the therapy room. 

Generally speaking, it’s always pretty easy to find a reason not to do something that’s good for you—like exercise, getting a full night’s sleep, or finding a therapist. In my experience, psychotherapy usually helps quite a bit. People who are suffering can forge strong working relationships with their therapists even if they have never tried therapy before.

If you are going through a stressful time, or feel unhappy, anxious, or unsatisfied with yourself and your life, please don’t talk yourself out of taking care of your feelings.

Check out Dr. Soeiro’s personal website www.lorensoeiro.net, for more such informative articles.

Written By Loren Soeiro 
Originally Published In Psychology Today
reasons people refuse talk to pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.

Up Next

What Netflix’s ‘Baby Reindeer’ Teaches About Dealing With Online Stalkers

Dealing With Online Stalkers? Important Baby Reindeer Lessons

“Baby Reindeer”, the British miniseries, hit on Netflix, highlights the horrifying truth of having an online stalker. Ever faced anything similar? If yes, read on to know more!

Baby Reindeer Netflix show is based on Richard Gadd’s autobiographical one-person play and tells the story of Donny, an unsuccessful comedian who becomes the target of Martha, a woman he meets at a local bar.

More or less 7.5 million individuals are cyberstalked each year based on the latest figures. This is also known as tech stalking, and about 80% all stalking victims experienced it while 67% were subject to traditional forms of stalking too.

Up Next

Are You Struggling To Manage Your Emotional Reactions? 3 Important Steps To Take

Managing Emotional Reactions: Effective Steps To Take

If you are someone who struggles to control or manage your emotional reactions, then you have come to the right place. This article is going to talk about some of the best things you can do when it comes to controlling emotional reactions or emotional reactivity.


Emotional reactions are based on mental habits you can change if you want to, believe you can, and can commit to the steps.

Even when you know a new mental habit will relieve your stress, you must consistently override your protective brain while forming the new habit.

Start with small steps so you can see your progress and celebrate your successes.

Up Next

How To Become Less Anxious: 9 Tips To Deal With Anxiety

How To Become Less Anxious: Tips To Deal With Anxiety

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed, trapped in the clutches of anxiety? Do you want a life filled with tranquility? If so, let’s find out how to become less anxious.

What Exactly Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a universal human emotion that can manifest as a persistent and overwhelming feeling of fear, worry, or unease. 

However, it’s important to recognize that anxiety is a normal part of life and most people experience it occasionally. When anxiety becomes persistent, excessive and a constant companion, hindering our daily activities and o

Up Next

7 Essential Psychotic Episode Signs You Should Not Ignore

Essential Signs Of A Psychotic Episode You Should Not Ignore

Suppose you’re binge-watching your favorite TV show, while digging into a tub of salted caramel ice cream, and everything seems normal and perfect. But then suddenly, out of the blue, you start to feel as if your reality is unraveling, like a rogue thread from a well-worn sweater? Let me tell you, this maybe one of many psychotic episode signs.

You might be thinking, “wait a minute, psychotic?” I know these words may sound a bit intimidating and scary, but stick around for a while and I will explain everything. This article is going to do a deep dive in the major psychotic episode signs, causes of psychosis, the different types of psychosis, and also, what is a psychotic episode.

So, are you ready to navigate this uncharted territory? Let’s get started then. First let’s talk about what is a psychotic episode.

Up Next

7 Incredible Benefits of Art Therapy for Children You Should Know!

Helpful Benefits of Art Therapy for Children You Must Know

Art therapy for children is a treatment method that helps children who suffer from trauma, emotional disorders, or other developmental problems to be healed and find themselves.

Benefits of art therapy for children may also be seen as one of the best channels of communication which surpasses language barriers to reveal the innermost aspects of human feelings.

Children learn how to draw, paint, sculpt, and engage in other forms of art under the guidance of an art therapist to express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

The following ten amazing benefits of art therapy for children that shows how art can make a huge difference in children’s lives. So without further ado let us get into it!

Up Next

How To Practice Mindful Eating Like A Pro: 10 Habits For Healthier Living

How to Practice Mindful Eating: Mindful Eating Habits

Have you ever found yourself mindlessly devouring a bag of chips or indulging in a whole tub of ice cream without even realizing it? In our fast-paced and hectic lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of binge eating. This is why it is crucial to learn how to practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a practice that encourages us to savor each bite, reconnect with our body’s signals, and truly appreciate the nourishment we receive. It can help you break free from this cycle and build a healthier relationship with food.

So let’s explore what is mindful eating, what are the benefits of mindful eating and how to develop mindful eating habits into your daily life.