Why Do We Wait So Long To Reach Out?

20 Oct

I can’t tell you how many times I see clients (especially couples) who are completely overwhelmed with their problems and “at the end of their rope.” They’ve made the decision to reach out for help, but our first appointment only takes place when their problems are so consuming that they’re in midst of crisis.

For example, many individual clients seek help in the midst of suicidal ideation. Couples will make the phone call when one partner has threatened divorce. Families often make appointments when the conflict is so high the family has trouble functioning. crisis

As eager as I am to see them, I can’t help but wish all these clients came in earlier. Instead of spending the first three or four sessions helping clients out of a crisis, we could be working together to keep those problems from escalating into a crisis. Because insight is best achieved when our senses aren’t on overload, our initial work could be so much more productive.

We do this with our physicians, too. How many times do we only make the doctor appointment when our symptoms are out of control? How often do we brush aside the warning signs until we can’t stand the pain any longer? Why do we wait?

We wait because we think we can handle things ourselves. We wait because we think our problems will work themselves out. We wait because this is just a phase…or we think so, anyway.

Same thing with conflict – we often wait to resolve our issues only when our issues start to impair our functioning. But, let me offer this: Resolve your conflicts when they’re small. Waiting will only allow them to escalate.

So, maybe it’s time to take inventory of your problems, your health, and your conflicts. And, it’s certainly time to reach out for help sooner rather than later.


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