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Individual Therapy: Accepting Help From Others
How Individual Therapy Can Help You Accept Help From Others
In individual therapy, you will become better at expressing yourself and communicating with others. One common communication issue that you may experience is the belief that you can’t or shouldn’t ask for help and support from others. And this is not an uncommon struggle; it can often be easier to give help rather than ask for or receive it from others.
If you are familiar with this struggle, you are probably nodding in agreement! And the idea that you can’t or shouldn’t ask for help from others is a challenging thought to break. (Related Article: 3 Principles of Emotional Health). Today, you will learn how to become more open to asking for and accepting help, and how individual counseling can help you become more open with others.
Why Is It So Hard to Accept Help?
If you have asked yourself this question, you are not alone! You may view the people around you as being deserving of help and compassion. You might actually be a very giving and compassionate person. But how do you extend that same understanding to yourself? Why is it so much harder to show yourself compassion?
There are a few reasons why you might believe you don’t deserve help. You may have gotten into a habit of invalidating your own needs, or believing that it is selfish to have needs. Maybe you didn’t have your needs met when you were growing up, so you learned to avoid them as a result. (Related Article: Stigmas). Maybe you learned this negative reaction to your needs in a difficult relationship. You might even struggle to open up to others and be vulnerable, which can make accepting help a scary experience.
No matter how you reached this point, it can be important to reflect on where you might have learned to deny or minimize your own needs. You will never outgrow having needs and seeking to fulfill them. Brene Brown said “to know pain is human. To need is human. And no amount of money, influence, resources, or sheer determination will change our physical, emotional, and spiritual dependence on others” (Source). You will always have needs. Learning to accept help from others is an important part of creating meaningful connections with others.
So, what can you do to become better at accepting help? This thought exercise may help (Source). You, like many others, may tend to mentally separate people into two categories; “those who need help” and “those who receive help”. These are generalizations about who is “supposed to” receive or give help that you have established over the course of your life. It can be helpful to think about why these two categories exist, and why you can’t combine them into one. Why can’t you be both a receiver and giver of help? Would you deny your loved ones help if they asked for it? What makes you uncomfortable about receiving help from others? (Related article: What You Can Do Before Coming to Counseling). Challenging the idea that you can only give help and not receive it can help you begin to practice asking for help from others, and also receiving help from them as well. (Related Article: Emotions 101: How to Be Healthy).
Individual Therapy Can Help
If you are struggling to accept help from others, then you don’t have to go it alone. A great first exercise in learning how to ask for help and receive it is starting individual counseling sessions. Your therapist can help you to identify why you avoid asking for help, and can give you personalized strategies that can help you practice more self-compassion. Take the first step; start individual therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins