A: You make seeing a therapist sound like torture!
Have you had some really bad experiences with therapy or with something you think is like therapy? Is it mainly about admitting to someone else that you aren’t “perfect” and acknowledging your anxiety? (The therapist knows you are imperfect and have anxiety already, just because you are human being… Maybe your degree of anxiety will be seen as notable, but the therapist, if she or he is any good at all, will Care that you are so anxious and they’d have no interest in belittling you…)
Q: Do you have some tips on how I can stay calm as I put myself through the process of seeing a therapist?
A: I’m sure you have many methods you already use to stay calm when you find it difficult… The methods wouldn’t be much different for seeing a therapist than for other things that trigger anxiety for you. (Deep, slow breathing… Admitting that you don’t know what’s going to happen so any scary thoughts are only fantasy and you will find out how it will go only after you see the therapist…. Knowing that therapy is a relatively lengthy process, so the first meeting or two won’t matter much in the longer run… Etc.)
Two other thoughts, assuming that your anxiety is so strong it limits your ability to talk to a therapist:
1) You might want to see a psychiatrist or a knowledgeable MD first – to get medication which will help calm you down. (A psychiatrist is a much better idea than any other MD, but I mention the other MDs in case you know of a good one and in case it takes too long to get an appointment with a psychiatrist.).
2) You could start by talking on the phone with a therapist. (Me for example… Let me know if you want to learn about how this could work.)