Common Concerns Surrounding Therapy


Therapists help with learning to cope with thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Pain frequently results in mental health problems, and mental health conditions cause increased pain sensitivity. These physical and emotional difficulties can create a vicious cycle. Therapy can also cause fears and concerns. This is especially true if the individual is new to therapy or is seeing a new therapist.

Examples of worries and fears

Common concerns that individuals may experience prior to beginning therapy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Uncertainty about the process and what to expect
  • Doubt that therapy can actually help
  • Judgment about embarrassing mistakes or uncomfortable situations
  • Discussing or reliving painful emotions or experiences
  • Confidentiality of treatment and conversations
  • Judgment from family members or friends for being “weak” or needing to seek help

What to do when worried

If an individual experiences any of these concerns, it is helpful to discuss them at the first visit. Therapists are familiar with these worries and can provide reassurance. A therapist will most likely share their confidentiality policy. They may ask about topics that will be particularly difficult to discuss and agree not to approach those conversations until the individual feels comfortable. They can also explain the therapy plan and what to expect in order to remove the fear of the unknown.


Being concerned prior to therapy is normal. However, it is important not to let fears interfere with beginning treatment. Having the courage to seek therapy is a significant step toward improved mental health and well-being.

Additional sources: Psychology Today and MyTherapy NYC