Psychotherapy, also known commonly as therapy or counselling, is the process of sharing and discussing your life and relationship issues, beliefs, and feelings with a psychotherapist. Psychotherapists are mental health professionals such as psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, or professional counsellors.
There are a lot of myths about therapy that are commonly believed and propagated. It is important to address these myths with facts so that more people can understand how helpful and healing therapy can be.
Read on to find out the common myths about therapy, and the facts.
Myth 1: If you go to therapy, you are weak or crazy.
Fact: The majority of people who go to therapy are ordinary people dealing with common everyday problems such as important life changes, relationship issues, body image, grief, anger, etc.
You are not crazy or weak for seeking help. Going to therapy is a sign of emotional maturity and the willingness to take care of yourself with the help or guidance of another person.
Myth 2: Therapy is like talking to your best friend.
Fact: Your therapist is not your best friend, and your best friend cannot be your therapist. Your friends can give you love and support.
However, therapists are trained professionals with a knowledge of how to diagnose and treat cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and relationship issues.
Also, the relationship between you and your therapist is strictly professional and limited to counselling sessions and necessary email, phone, or text contact.
Your therapist cannot cross professional boundaries and initiate a personal relationship with you. Your name and personal stories are also strictly confidential information for your therapist.
Myth 3: Therapists give solutions to your problems.
Fact: Your therapist does not have ready-made solutions to all your problems. Telling you what to do would handicap you instead of empowering you.
They will listen to what you have to say and analyze not only your words but also look out for underlying themes and patterns in your stories.
This allows your therapist to provide feedback based on these emerging patterns that you were perhaps unable to see and realize yourself. Their guidance can help you make your own decisions better.
Myth 4: Once you start therapy, it will go on all your life.
Fact: Yes, you may not see quick-fix results in one or two therapy sessions. Caring for your mental health can be a work in progress and you may need therapy at different stages in life. However, this does not mean that therapy can go on forever.
Most therapy is short-term. The vast majority of people usually go for 6 to 10 sessions and most therapy will be concluded in a couple of months. However, some problems may need more sessions.
Myth 5: You only need to go to therapy if you have a serious mental health issue.
Fact: It is incorrect to believe that you have to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder or be on the verge of a mental breakdown in order to seek therapy. If you feel you could benefit from therapy, you need not wait for any other reason.
It is fine if you wish to discuss any issue which is plaguing you in your daily life with your therapist before it has become a major issue. Waiting to discuss your personal or relationship problems will only aggravate the issue, making it that much harder to resolve.
Remember, mental and emotional self-care are as important as taking care of yourself physically. Please do not shy away from seeking help from a mental health professional when you feel overwhelmed.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.