Motivation and therapy: Are you ready for change?

Updated: Jul 14

“Change occurs when the desire to change becomes greater than the desire to stay the same” Kain Ramsay.

It can be a daunting task to reach out for professional support and the motivation people feel toward entering therapy can wax and wane. Reasons why people may be hesitant to seek out therapy include:

-that they feel that they will be judged by the therapist¹

-they don’t want to be seen as complaining²

-they feel that the therapist won’t understand them³

-they don’t want to relive pain from the past⁴ (Hope and Wellness, 2020)

-they have had negative experiences in therapy in the past⁵

-and the cost in terms of their time, energy, and finances*.

In fact, most people won’t reach out for professional help until the issue that they are experiencing has made life (at best) uncomfortable or (at worst) unbearable. This is unfortunate, as issues that are causing an unbearable impact on day-to-day life have often been experienced over a longer period of time and are therefore usually more challenging to change. This is not to say that they can’t be changed, only that more work may be required to turn things around.

One way of avoiding an unbearable outcome from a negative issue in your life is by accessing therapy earlier. People are more likely to seek out a therapist if they consider the benefits of therapy, such as that it allows you to:

-Work on and successfully transform habits, behaviour, and thoughts that you would like to change

-Explore thoughts, feelings, and worries with a caring professional

-Develop coping strategies for different challenging situations

-Practice self-reflection and awareness (Lindberg, 2020).

Therapy also has the benefit of creating a ripple effect: by helping to create change and improving the quality of one person’s life, it will also create improved relationships within their family and community, and possibly for generations to come.

It can be interesting to look at what is involved in the process of change and this is the main focus of a theory called the stages of change model. This model describes five stages of intentional behavioural change and it may be applied to either individual action or action in conjunction with a therapist.

1. Precontemplation stage

During this stage, a person is not attempting change. They may have not considered changing a behaviour yet or have decided against it (Caltabiano et al., 2008).

2. Contemplation stage

During this stage, a person is aware a problem exists and they are seriously considering changing a behaviour within a few months (Caltabiano et al., 2008). It may involve individuals conducting their own research about how best to change the issue, such as consulting websites about therapy or reading articles about this issue. However, at this stage, individuals are not yet ready to make a commitment to take action.

3. Preparation stage

At this stage, a person is ready to try to change and is planning to pursue a behavioural goal (Caltabiano et al., 2008). In terms of therapy, this may involve taking actions towards pursuing this goal such as booking a call to talk to the therapist, discussing what is involved in therapy, and booking an appointment.

4. Action stage

This stage involves a person actively putting in the effort to change a behaviour (Caltabiano et al., 2008). With regards to therapy, this involves attending the session with the therapist, talking about the issue, collaborating on some mutually agreed-upon goals, and actively taking part in and practicing set activities and strategies which have been discussed during the session.

5. Maintenance

At this stage, a person is working at maintaining successful behaviour change (Caltabiano et al., 2008). The goal of therapy is for the client to be able to take the positive suggestions and behaviours from the session and apply them to their life.

Where do you feel you are at on the stages of change model? Do you feel motivated to change an issue in your life? If you do, please don’t hesitate to book a no-obligation call and take steps toward change today.


Caltabiano, M., Sarafino, E., & Byrne, D. (2008). Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial Interactions. John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

Lindberg, S. (2020). Benefits and options for therapy.

Hope and Wellness (2019). 5 (sic) common fears about going to therapy.

¹ In order to reassure you and alleviate any worries you may have, I wanted to discuss some of the common fears of seeing a therapist.

One such fear is that many people feel they will be judged during a therapy session (Hope and Wellness, 2020). I understand what a daunting task it is to undertake therapy – you are sharing such personal information with your therapist and it is perfectly normal to feel some vulnerability.

Let me reassure you – I seek to understand and help you, not to judge you. I am highly trained, educated, professional, and compassionate, and I will listen to you without judgment.

² Another common issue is that many people feel stoic and like they are complaining too much about their lives if they attend therapy, particularly if they think that their struggles are insignificant compared to those of other people (Hope and Wellness, 2020).

Please don’t worry about this – I am accustomed to hearing about issues from people from many walks of life, and the issues my clients have are all significant and distressing to them. I would not consider discussing issues in your life as complaining, I would consider it an essential step in a healing process.

³A further issue that may prevent people from accessing therapy is that they worry that their therapist won’t understand them and that they will have to explain themselves and have to repeat their story over and over (Hope and Wellness, 2020).

Please rest assured – I always seek to understand my client’s experiences and what they are going through. I am an active listener and an empathetic, compassionate person. Additionally, the more you share during the session, the more I will be able to fully understand your current situation and life.

⁴ Another common issue that causes many people to be hesitant to attend therapy is that they believe that they will have to relieve pain from the past (Hope and Wellness, 2020).

While it is true that many types of therapy try to resolve issues by looking into the past, the good news about Hypnotherapy and Solution-focused Counselling is that they have a strong focus on the presenting problem or issue, with a goal that is firmly focused on addressing present coping strategies, rather than rehashing past issues.

If issues from the past do arise during the session, I would never encourage you to recount any part of your life’s story that you feel uncomfortable sharing. With time and familiarity, you may feel more comfortable sharing or perhaps not: this is completely up to you.

⁵ Negative therapy experiences in the past can make people hesitant to try other types of therapy or a new therapist, however, often it can take some time to find the perfect therapist for you. One way to see if a therapist or style of therapy is a good fit for you is to talk to the therapist prior to coming to a session. Most therapists offer a call for you to ask questions before committing to therapy sessions and it can be a chance to see if the therapist is someone you will be happy to work with in the future.

*A common fear about therapy is the cost in terms of an individual’s time, energy, and finances.

In terms of time commitment, Hypnotherapy has the advantage of being a therapy that achieves results fairly rapidly compared to other types of therapy styles.

In regards to energy, all therapy requires the client to be an active participant in the therapeutic relationship. Many people consider that the therapist will “fix” them – this is not true, the therapist is helping the client to help themselves. Therapists help to bring about change in the client’s perspectives and behaviours, but the client must put in active efforts to make these changes occur.

Finally, the cost of the therapy causes many people to be hesitant to access professional support. One benefit of Hypnotherapy is that it has a relatively short-term time commitment compared to other therapies, which means that it is more cost-effective.

Whether you are willing to pay for therapy really does come down to priorities, what is important for you at the moment, and the value you place on your health and wellbeing, peace of mind, and the relationships around you.

Another factor to consider is that I always provide discounts for concession card holders and students.

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