konsultacje psychiatryczne Ośrodek in-med Warszawa Bemowo

I am embarrassed to see a psychologist…

Most patients before their first appointment with a psychologist wonder what such an appointment will look like.Unfortunately, sometimes feeling anxious and fear of the unknown will win, and such a consultation is put off.The most common reason is feeling embarrassed in front of a psychologist. Why do we feel embarrassed to consult with a specialist?

Who needs help of a psychologist?

According to The World Health Organization (WHO) at least 15% of the worlds’ population is battling with mental health problems. In Poland it could be even 6 million people! According to statistics by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), only 1.5 million people seek psychologist’s help.

It is not difficult to calculate that 75% of people do not decide to seek support from specialists. Reasons for their decision can have different bases. It seems the problem lies in the costs connected with regular psychotherapy visits. Particularly that depending on the voivodeship one must wait from a few weeks to a few months for a NFZ referral with a psychologist.

Sometimes there is another issue though – an embarrassment to see a psychologist.

Embarrassment to see a psychologist or fear of stigma?

Sometimes feeling anxious about starting psychotherapy is not connected with a meeting with a psychologist. It is sad that it is widely assumed that only people with mental illnesses visit psychotherapeutic clinics. Many people think that seeking help from a mental health specialist is caused by madness or dangerous behaviour towards oneself and other people. It’s worth realising that anyone may need a psychologist’s help, and many of us are not aware of it. It shouldn’t either be met by negative comments from our loved ones. Such attitudes by family or friends make us give up before we started or leave therapy which is already underway.

‘We are not annoyed by things or events, but the way we look at them’


How to talk with a psychologist without embarrassment?

The first meeting with a psychologist can be awkward – it is totally normal. Starting psychotherapy is to some extent building a relationship, in this case relationship between a patient and a therapist. You will realise that with each subsequent visit you feel more comfortable, and it will be easier talking about your emotions. Feeling awkwardto open upto a psychologist can relate to embarrassing problems which we haven’t discussed with anyone before.

However, after all we do not fear to talk to our family doctor, a cardiologist or a gynaecologist about our health problems; similarly, we shouldn’t feel uncomfortable to open up in front of a psychologist. In the therapist’s room,you won’t be ridiculed or ignored – each burdensome topic which is uncomfortable and makes your daily functioning difficult – is significant and worth talking about.

What is most important – a psychologist is bound by patient’s confidentiality. It means they cannot discuss with anyone anything you say during the appointment. You can feel at ease and have full trust in the specialist who you are going to see.

embarassment to see a psychologist

‘Start right there where you are, use what you have, do what you can.’

(Arthur Asie)

How to reduceembarrassment in front of a psychologist?

Before you go to your appointment, analyse your problem and write down the most important issues you want to discuss. This way you won’t forget about anything that is important, and you will more confident. During your first visit, the psychologist will certainly ask you many questions, to get to know your situation. During your psychologist’s appointment you may hear such questions as:

  • When didthe problem occur?
  • What was it like before?
  • What is the situation like now?

Answering those questions,you give them a picture of your situation. Even if you forget about some detail, do not worry. You can say it during next visit.

Psychologist – not as scary as they might seem…

An embarrassment to see a psychologist is totally normal. Do not let the fear of starting therapy, delay making an appointment. Each activity done for the first time can seem difficult, but with each next visit, it will be easier, particularly as this is about your mental health and well-being. If you don’t feel confident enough, you don’t have to discuss everything at your first appointment. After some time, you will feel strong enough to talk openly about your problems. A psychologist won’t force you to say, you decide how much you want to disclose.

Embarrassment in front of a psychologist – summary

  • You can seek professional help. Making an appointment with a psychologist is nothing bad!
  • A psychologist is bound by confidentiality, everything that is said, stays in the room.
  • A psychologist can lead the conversation, to understand your situation better, but you decide how much you are able to say.
  • An embarrassment in front of a psychologist is totally normal, do not worry about it.