6 Misconceptions About Therapy [& the Truth]

Whether you are new to therapy or familiar with it, you have probably heard some of the common myths and misconceptions about it. Because of these misconceptions, you probably avoided making an appointment. 

Finding a therapist is fairly easy. Google does all the work for you. But one of the biggest misconceptions related to therapy that people overlook is acquiring a comfort zone. 

If you are lucky, you will find the right therapist the first time. But since it is not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation, there are chances that you will need to keep changing your therapist till you find the one. This may seem overwhelming, but it is very simple. It starts with a simple Google search like “find a therapist near me.”

Counselling has many advantages, and here we’ll look at six myths about the treatment process that might get in the way of getting the most out of your sessions.

Misconception #1: “I don’t need treatment. It’s not like I’m completely alone.”

Truth:

We can all agree that having a network of friends and family to lean on is crucial, but you may find that there are some things you just can’t discuss with them. If your best friend is compassionate, you may need to watch how you vent your frustration around her. Because most of your connections are two-way, each party will likely focus on themselves when communicating.

Additionally, it’s possible that the people closest to you, even if they mean well, will be full of opinions that aren’t particularly helpful at a time when you need them the most. 

Forty-one million US adults who went to therapy within the last year must have had friends, but they can’t help as professionals can. You shouldn’t feel like you have to censor your sentiments when you see a therapist, and thankfully, the session won’t (and shouldn’t) devolve into the therapist’s problems.

Misconception #2: “I don’t need treatment because I don’t have any major concerns.”

Truth:

To begin, the word “serious” is incredibly open-ended. Depression, anxiety, trauma, a stressful home or work life, or a desire to better understand your relationship patterns are just some conditions that could prompt you to seek professional help through therapy. 

If you’re interested in working on yourself and/or making changes in your life, therapists won’t pass judgment on the “seriousness” of your issues. The longer one waits to begin therapy, the greater the risk that the problem will worsen and the longer it may take to get a positive outcome.  That’s something no one wants. 

Is “are you happy/satisfied with your current state?” the better inquiry? Are there any specifics that you’d like to alter? If you said yes, then you have your answer. That’s a compelling argument for trying counseling. Over 130,000 therapists in the US will be happy to get you out of this zone. 

Misconception #3: “I need someone to tell me what to do.”

Truth:

This is a really widespread misunderstanding about counseling. When people feel hopeless about their circumstances (and/or have delayed therapy for a long time due to misunderstanding #2), we understand that they want answers and a remedy immediately. There’s peace of mind in supposing someone else has the solution. 

The reality is that therapeutic decision-making is not the goal of therapy. It is assumed that clients already know the answers and that therapists can facilitate the discovery of these answers.

Misconception #4 “Psychotherapy is for the mentally ill and the weak.”

Truth:

This misunderstanding is widespread and has been perpetuated for decades. It’s amazing to observe how people may readily go to the doctor for physical issues but feel embarrassed to ask for treatment for mental health issues. 

Really, how much more convenient would it be to run out and get a pint of ice cream, watch a whole bunch of TV, and ignore our problems? Facing the issue head-on and reaching out for assistance takes tremendous bravery.

Misconception #5: “Couples counseling is just for the separated.”

Truth:

Sometimes, couples wait too long to seek help, and the damage has been done by then. It’s best to deal with problems before they get so overwhelming that individual counseling isn’t worth it, and the same holds for relationships. Couples counseling can be beneficial for a variety of relationship issues, including those that seem small on the surface, such as a misunderstanding or a lack of passion. 

According to American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, over 65% of couple/family counseling gets resolved in 20 sessions. This means in less than 5 months, you will be able you manage your love or family life better. 

Misconception #6: “Is treatment truly confidential?”

Truth:

Therapists know how difficult it is to open up about oneself. Yet honesty is essential in treatment if you want to make progress. Both the law and our ethical standards require therapists to maintain confidentiality. 

That’s why confidentiality is the first thing they talk about when starting treatment. There are certainly times when confidentiality cannot be maintained, but your therapist should explain this to you upfront.

We hope that by dispelling those six myths about therapy, we’ve helped you see its true value. We’re not going to try to make things sound better than they are. The therapeutic procedure isn’t always easy. But don’t the most rewarding experiences always involve some sort of difficulty? We suggest contacting a therapist via email or phone for a short conversation if you are considering therapy.