The notion of “asking for help” or “going to a shrink” is often seen as quite embarrassing for many people, especially those of us who are self-sufficient; those who manage life fairly well and help others manage theirs. I question if this is a cultural belief that you should be able to take care of your emotional needs by yourself, and if yes, how relevant is this cultural belief to your current individual culture?
Somehow being self-sufficient does not preclude us from going to a hair salon when we need a haircut, and very few of us make our own clothes. Why is that? Because it is hard to see the back of your own head, and because our home economics class did not equip us with enough knowledge and experience to make acceptable business attire. Still, we hold on to a strong belief that we can fix our emotional lives because we read a few self-help books and took Psychology 101 in college.
Why are we so persistent in believing that we know ourselves best and we can fix ourselves? The main reason for this is that the first part of the above statement is true – we do know ourselves best. However, it is very difficult to “fix” our emotional lives without an objective person who is there to provide expertise, feedback, and help when necessary. We were not raised and shaped in a vacuum, so we need others to facilitate and sustain change in us as well. Dr. Irina Volynsky