Why Pay For Therapy? 4 Things You Can’t Get From Self-Help Books

Why Pay For Therapy? 4 Things You Can’t Get From Self-Help Books 

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re interested in making a change and becoming a better version of yourself. Many people in this situation buy a self-help book or start therapy. Either option is ok, although starting therapy has several advantages (which we’ll look at in a moment). As a therapist myself, I’m a huge fan of self-help books. Self-improvement workbooks and journals can be a great source of inspiration, structure and motivation. However, as much as these books can help, there are things that you can only get from a personal relationship with a counselor. 

4 Things You Can’t Get From Self-Help Books


A personalized approach

Therapy is first and foremost a relational process between two people. A therapist is skilled in building relationships characterized by warmth, empathy and trust. As a relational experience, there is no one-size fits all approach to therapy. You and the therapist will collaborate on the very specific struggles and obstacles that you’re facing and would like to overcome. You may find a self-help book that addresses your specific issue, but you won’t be able to discuss the specific ways this issue has impacted your day to day life. A good therapist can translate general psychological principles into the nitty gritty realities of your situation. Unlike self-help books which offer general advice, you’re paying a therapist to speak directly to your situation. 

A safe space to address your triggers 

Many self-help books contain content that can easily trigger you. If you’re reading a book to help with your sexual trauma, it’s likely the material will bring up difficult memories and sensations. If you are triggered and you don’t have someone to help you through the experience, you may fall into a worse place than when you started. A therapist is trained to help people who are triggered learn coping skills and relaxation techniques that help them recover a sense of peace.  

The ability to be heard  

Therapy was originally dubbed the “talking cure.” There is something healing about freely sharing your most difficult thoughts, emotions and sensations with someone who’s a great listener. A self-help book, no matter how great the content, cannot listen to you and validate your feelings. While a self-help book can be used to supplement the work of therapy, it simply cannot replace the power of a human relationship built on unconditional acceptance. 

Specific goals to work on  

Self-help books provide suggested exercises to apply everything you’re learning. Many of these practical suggestions can be very helpful. However, no matter how specific the exercise, it’s impossible for the self-help book to know exactly what your struggle is and what your life actually looks like. Working with a therapist ensures that you can create goals that are tailored to your unique issue and that make sense with your lifestyle. Many people report that self-help books are beneficial, but they can leave you feeling guilty because the suggested course of action is too strict and unrealistic. This is not a problem in therapy. A therapist will work with you to construct realistic goals that you can strive to reach at a reasonable pace. 

Counseling can give you tools to create a more meaningful life  

Self-help books are great, but they are not a replacement for therapy. If you are willing to make the financial commitment, it might be a good idea to give counseling a try. Counseling is not just for people who have severe mental health issues. Counseling can help anyone trying to make a change and be the best version of themselves. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is very effective with men! Your therapist can help you identify the negative thoughts that cause emotional distress and help you learn how to replace them with thoughts that result in greater confidence and peace. You can also work on specific goals that will help you change your behavior and reach your highest potential. If you are stuck and would like help getting unstuck, please give us a call at the Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch. We would love to help you process your divorce and be the best man you can be!

Begin Counseling in Katy, TX 

If you are ready to work on yourself the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide men’s issues counseling as well as other services. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:

  1. Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information about counseling
  2. Meet with one of our skilled therapists
  3. Find ways to get unstuck and be the best person you can be!

Other Therapy Services We Offer

Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages including: women’s issues, treatment for anxietytrauma counselingcounseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment,  depression treatment, family therapy, and group counseling.