When a person opts for psychotherapy, it is extremely important to:

• to be motivated to seek help and to realize that there is at least one specific problem she wants to work on.

• that the main goal is personal change and not the change of other people.

• be aware that long-lasting problems cannot be solved “overnight”.


Although at first glance it may seem illogical in general and discuss whether the person who calls the psychologist has decided to take this step, it can often happen that people, in a way, “stray” to psychotherapy and soon realize that it is not for them, because the main goal of their appearance is to:

• Change someone else.

It often happens that a person goes to psychotherapy to learn certain skills on how to help someone close to them, that is, to change other people in their environment who are suffering or in trouble in some way. So, in psychotherapy, we will often see, for example, a mother who would give everything in the world for her, mostly an adult child, in a sense to “fix her life” (get rid of alcohol, drugs, divorce, get married, become independent). Or we will meet a person who suffers because person strongly wants to change her relationship with his parent first in order to take the next step and leave the family home in order to move out and become independent. Or we will meet a person under enormous stress due to bad interpersonal relationships at work, where most often one person is the one who fights unsuccessfully in some way. So it is often said that people often find themselves in psychotherapy because they aim for change in people who do not realize that they have a problem, and who usually do not need change, or at least they themselves do not see the need for change.

That is why it is very important, before applying for psychotherapy, to resolve with ourselves that the problem we are reporting is ours, that we (with the support of close people) will solve it, that it will be wonderful if the change in us in some way causes positive changes in other people we are surrounded by, but that it is more important to work on ourselves and our own view of ourselves, other people and the world around us, than to work on changing other people in whom we notice a certain problem. After all, it often turns out that the change in ourselves and giving up some previous wrong patterns of thinking and behavior, gives birth to positive changes in people close to us.

“There’s only one corner of the universe that you can certainly change, and that’s yourself.”

Aldous Huxley

• Satisfy someone else.

Another wrong motive for seeking the help of a psychotherapist is the motive to satisfy a person close to us with such a call, who, more than ourselves, realizes that we have a problem, and who more than we want to call and ask for help. It is clear at the very beginning of the psychotherapeutic process that a person who does not respond to psychotherapy arbitrarily, does not show sufficient motivation to talk about their problems, or to look for causes together with a psychologist, or to participate in creating therapeutic goals.

On the other hand, when a person really asks for help on his own initiative, it can be seen even before the first meeting, how impatient he is to start working on himself and his problems. Well, he often talks quickly during the first call, and although he seems to be under stress, his voice feels impatient to come to the first session. Arranging the first appointment is often accompanied by pleasure, with the addition of sentences such as “I can’t wait to start”, “I feel scared and excited at the same time”, “It’s as if I’ve been waiting for this for a long time”.

It is probably not necessary to emphasize how people who decide on psychotherapy benefit from sessions very quickly, because they are somewhere deep inside, firmly determined to take their lives into their own hands and start the adventure that change brings.

Re-examining your personal motivation to report to a psychotherapist is therefore extremely important for the very success of psychotherapy.


• Other unrealistic goals.

A problem that lasts for 10 years cannot be solved in 10 days.

Time cannot go back nor can actions from the past be corrected, we can influence the present moment, as well as the way we interpret our own past today, so that we can live peacefully with it today and in the future.

We cannot move towards progress and success if we do not know what our goals are in the future. One of the goals of psychotherapy is always to get to know ourselves better, our own weaknesses and strengths and to create desires, motives and goals, so that we know in which direction we are moving and for how long.

Some people are afraid of psychotherapy because they think that something will happen to them during psychotherapy that will make them a person they do not want to become (selfish person, someone completely different, someone who close people will not love so much if they take their lives into their own. hands). Although change is the essence of psychotherapy, it is important to know / learn that we ourselves have a lot of control, that we cannot just lose that control or anything else that we do not want in our essence.


“A tree that has grown bent for thirty years cannot be repaired in a year.”

Ashant proverb

“Once he finds himself, he can lose nothing in this world.”

Stefan Zweig

Milana Zoric, PhD in Psychology