Home > Coaching, Personal progress, professional progress, Therapy > The Stigma of Psychotherapy…. And now Coaching!!

The Stigma of Psychotherapy…. And now Coaching!!

So I am a psychotherapist….. yeah, that line of practice surrounded by confidentiality, secrecy, pain, distress, and all sorts of tabooed venting….. I’d rather refer to myself as a counselor so as to avoid the “therapy” word in “psychotherapy”. Therapy connotes malady which already is disempowering to any prospective client. I, also, am a hypnotherapist. It still has the “therapy” word, but even if I change it to hypnotist, both are equally scary to those who have not tried it, or listened to my thorough explanation debunking all misconceptions. I, additionally, incorporate “Life Coaching” to my practice specifically to offset the harrowing effects surrounding the process of my dealing with too much psychological distress. Coaching, although confidential like therapy, is more upbeat and cheerful. People who seek coaching are those who function just well, but who want to become exceptional and more fulfilled. Those who seek psychotherapy are mainly dysfunctional, but are daring enough to face issues standing in their way of normal functioning like the average person does.

So what’s with that introduction about what I do? Picture this: The sign at my office door has my name and the several titles I hold below it: Life and Career Coach, Counselor, Hypnotherapist, and Trainer. I usually keep my door closed when I’m with a client. I keep my business card (that has my contact information) below the sign in case someone passing by is enthused to take an appointment. When the card is removed (which is often repeated), I replace it by a new one. I got a message the other day on my mobile by an anonymous asking whether I had another office elsewhere. Anonymous reflected concern and hesitation in coming to my clinic, so I simply explained that it’s not a clinic; it’s just an office. I stressed my theory on clients in counseling as individuals who are not coping well; and that they are not sick people. I added that the only office I met clients in was that little place. How I wished I could add I already pay a high rent for that location. A week later, I got another message from the same anonymous. This time giving her name and expressing the same concern. “I have a lot of issues to discuss with you, but I don’t know if I will have the courage to actually take an appointment. People know me on that floor and I don’t want to be seen there.” she explained. That’s it!! I called her. I didn’t want to keep discussing things through messages. When we talked, she seemed like a young lady who badly needed someone to talk to. After some give and take, I explained that I could see her at times when all other adjacent offices ended their operations. She said she’ll think about it.

Our conversation was like a kick in my chest. It dredged up all past misdemeanors which made me grapple with the idea of stigma surrounding psychotherapy in Lebanon. I was fully aware that my clients in counseling are not too comfortable letting others know about their seeking professional support. I never asked them for my website testimonial despite how much it would add. I base my practice highly on referrals, but people rarely mention undergoing therapy. Most of the time, it is knowledge of someone else who does. Gladly, I have hypnotherapy that branches out from my practice. Unfortunately, that, too, is unfathomed by many except those who have guts and are open to try it (and then ignorance around it transpires favorably). But hey…. I am, also, involved in coaching – the luxury service – that few choose to indulge in. I boost all up with NLP techniques. Helllloooo….I tackle self-development in a variety of ways. To my disappointment, lately, I feel the same reluctance to share with others the idea of being supported impinging and stretching repeatedly to include my clients in coaching as well. And I’m like: “what the heeeellll????” Whatever is discussed remains confidential, but the process of having your own personalized paid-for support system doesn’t have to be. Is it too ego-threatening to mention that they are visiting this hothouse of growth? WHAT’S WITH YOU PEOPLE????

OK, some self- therapy needed:

 Identify your emotion Dania: Frustration

Pin point the accompanying repercussions: boiling inside, disgruntled, feeling misunderstood, my office seems to trigger trepidation, this secrecy is counterproductive to what I do, people are ungrateful (I know they all benefit so much), powerless over this one, reaching an impasse, doubting my career choice, dim future vision, slowly sliding into oblivion, it’s going to be way tougher than I thought, more questioning: so is that why many say they will resort to being coached but never start?…….

Change perspective to feel better: Don’t get narrow focused on those who don’t talk about it. There are a few who do. Dania….., you know you’re good at what you do. You always say: “Stir it up or down; left or right; the cream always rises to the top”. Patience precious, patience….. The stigma will surround nothing soon. You’re just now fanning the flames of psychotherapy in the most positive attractive approach. You’re just introducing coaching to your community and even created an association to facilitate that. Your diligent approach on emphasizing self-development will come to fruition. You have friends who resort to you for psychological comfort all the time. Together with your clients who already engaged in the escapade and are experiencing the sing-song effect, these should suffice to eliminate any self-doubt. So what if a few remain secretive? It’s not like nobody is saying any good word about you, is it? Besides you are a psychology instructor and a trainer. There’s no stigma attached to these two areas. You get a lot of satisfaction there. Shrug it off!!

Identify new emotion: Mental toxins flushed out 🙂 Feeling better 🙂

Future vision: I believe I can support people change in so many good ways if they choose to. If they choose not to lift up the secrecy veil, then it’s their world and I cannot intrude or impose. I am building awareness with all these blocks being thrown at me. My efforts can’t but spell success; I am sure…..

Self-Therapy session concluded.

Feeling waaaaay better 🙂

  1. May 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Sweet Dania!!

    No more frustration! You know your value and you are a great coach, pshychotherapist, hypnotherapist etc…

    You are human after all and can fall sometimes in the trap of frustration and helplessness.
    Please always remember yourself and you can always call your friend for a quick coaching boosting session. Let us reach out to others when in need ourselves.We must all walk our talk after all.
    How about bartering our services to keep supporting each other?
    love you


    • dddania
      May 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Yeeeee Gracoooo 🙂 🙂 hayateee inteee 🙂 🙂 🙂 you’re absolutely right about the need to vent it out with someone 🙂 how silly of me to pent it all up when I”ve got you 🙂 🙂 I like that barter idea of reciprocating the coaching service 🙂 will definitely call you at a proper time to take an appointment habeebee 🙂
      Thaaanks my precious most amazing coach 🙂 🙂
      I soooo love youuuu 🙂 🙂


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