Real change and growth takes courage to face yourself honestly, specially in front of another human being. It is much easier but ultimately more painful, to not be in therapy. On a daily basis I watch people struggle with facing that which they want to ward off. We all have these automatic psychological mechanisms (defenses) to keep us from experiencing too much discomfort. These mechanisms operate out of awareness. What is obvious is we would rather not feel or experience things that we are trying to ward off or as my kids might say, duh!
Why would anyone spend the time, money, or effort to be in therapy? To answer that one needs to first ask why do people come to therapy? They come to therapy because of some kind of pain. I don’t know anyone who comes to “grow”. The truth is that in the short run not being in therapy is easier and cheaper. In the long run life is easier during and after therapy. Therapy works. My patients are plenty bright and they wouldn’t keep coming if it didn’t work.
Men in particular believe the myth th at manliness or strength is being able to tough it out alone. In my experience, it takes real strength to ask for help when appropriate. It takes real strength to feel and express what you feel in front of another. It takes real strength to cry. It takes real strength to remember painful memories. That is quite different from the particular problem of acting like a baby. I have said to many patients that they are acting like a baby. Even that is part of therapy. Sometimes, but not often, people need a metaphoracle kick in the rear end.
It is interesting to note that whenever someone expresses themselves in a genuine and open way most others respect, appreciate and feel connected to that person.