Myths About Therapy

some common myths about therapy

“Therapy is for people who have a mental health problem, have serious issues, or are weak”

While therapists can and do treat mental health issues, most people who seek out therapy are going through a difficult time period in their lives. People often seek out professional assistance to take action on their problems, rather than waiting around any longer and just hoping that things will get better. We all have stress and other things keeping us from our best. Seeking help for your problems means you are taking action and asking for help often requires more strength than passively staying stuck. Remember, there is no shame in wanting a better life.


“If I go to a therapist I’m going to be seen as having a disorder.”

Thinking that something is wrong with you can be a scary thought. Thinking that you are going to be told there is something wrong with you by a professional can be even scarier. This is not my style of therapy. People are different, have different life circumstances, and different abilities to handle different types of life situations and relationships. This doesn’t mean you need to be pathologized or labeled as anything other than human. Rather than work with the medical model, which focuses on pathology and deficits, I work with a strengths based model helping you see your strengths and building on them to get the life you want. With that said, you do not have to be told by a doctor that you have a mental health problem to be offered or benefit from therapy.


“I have friends and family to talk to so I don’t need a therapist.”

There is a belief in our culture that the love, support and wisdom that we receive from support system is a substitute for therapy. While the support is invaluable and important for everyone, therapy is very different from relationships with friends and family. A therapist is a highly trained professional who spent years learning how to treat cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and relational issues. It’s not a reciprocal relationship where you and a friend take turns discussing your issues, but a place where everything is devoted to you. It’s a place where your secrets won’t become rumors and where you can be yourself without censorship because you don’t need to be afraid of being judged or hurting someone’s feelings.


“I am going to lie on couch and talk while I am analyzed”

This is a form of therapy that is often seen in the movies, but is rarely practiced anymore. Therapy has evolved significantly since the days of Freud. So while you are welcome to lay down, you will find therapy to be a much more interactive process where the therapist is far less removed.


“All therapists are alike”

This cannot be any further from the truth. There are different types of therapists and different types of therapy. Some may work with your cognitions, while others may focus more on your childhood experiences.


“It’s not going to work”

Therapy is not a passive experience in which you can come in, talk, leave, and just get better. Therapy will work if you work and become an active participant in making a difference in your own life. If you are worried because you had therapy before, it is important to remember that your relationship with your therapist will be a large factor for your therapeutic success. Find someone that fits you.


“I won’t have time”

People will often make time for their physical health, but will forget the importance of their mental health. While it is necessary to take care of your physical health, it is just as important to better your internal wellbeing. We are at our best when we have happy and healthy relationships with others and ourselves.


“People will think less of me if I see a therapist”

While it is true that therapy is still stigmatized in our society, it is also true that many people see therapists and just don’t tell anyone. About 4 out of 10 people in the United States will take action on their mental health and seek out therapy for relief. Those rates rise when it comes to people who are considered to have a serious mental health issue. So it is much more common than people may think!


“Therapy is common sense”

Some people have come to believe that therapists just rehash common knowledge so it is pointless. While common sense is wisdom that applies to everyone, therapy acknowledges that you are different and that your circumstances are different. Therapy is unique as it gives you insight to you specifically, and doesn’t try to fit you or your experiences into someone else’s.

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