There are many myths and misconceptions about therapy and people who seek therapy. These misconceptions perpetuate negative attitudes and stigmas about therapy which then create more shame and misunderstanding about seeking therapy and treatment. What misconceptions do you hold about therapy, therapists and people who seek therapy? Let’s review four of the most common therapy myths people have about starting therapy.
Myth 1: Therapy is for people with “serious” problems
Therapy provides many benefits to people in all stages of life. Although therapist may provide care for people suffering with psychological illness and mental health issues, therapists can also provide care, support and understanding for many other issues, such as; grief counselling, marriage and family therapy, career counselling, self-esteem, assertiveness training, life transition challenges and coping with illness. In reality, there are various reasons to seek out therapy and there are many ways a therapist can assist you in dealing with whatever challenges you are currently facing.
Myth 2: Talking to your friends is just as effective as therapy
Therapy provides an outlet for self exploration and reflection in order to uncover the root of your current challenges and helps you to learn how to better cope with these challenges in your life. With a therapist you have the opportunity to create specific goals for yourself and have someones professional support to help you reach those goals. Therapists are highly trained professionals who are committed to your wellbeing and have experience in relational, social, psychological and interpersonal issues. Therapists provide a confidential, understanding and nonjudgmental environment for you to be yourself and allow your true concerns, feelings and experiences to be heard. Often times with friends, we hold back the true emotional impact of what is going on in our lives.
Myth 3: Medication is more effective than therapy
For many issues, therapy proves to be just as effective, if not more effective than medication. Seeking therapy for these issues also diminishes the rate of relapse and helps clients develop better coping skills to prevent their problems from reoccurring in the future. In severe cases, a combination of medication and therapy may be best, however therapy offers many benefits that medication alone cannot provide for clients.
Myth 4: Therapy is for “weak” people
Believing that if you attend therapy then you are “weak”, is a pervasive and harmful belief about therapy that has the most stigma and shame associated with it. This belief about therapy passes judgment on clients and creates a negative view of therapy and of clients. Recognizing a need for help, seeking therapy and facing your issues, whether they are mental, relational or social, demonstrates strength and resiliency. The first step to facing your problems and developing better relationship, personal and life skills is to seek therapy and recognize that there is a problem. At then end of therapy, you are likely to come out stronger than ever.
If after reading about many of the common misconceptions about starting therapy, you feel that therapy might be right for you at this time, fill our an online appointment request form to give it a try: http://www.sentacounselling.com/counselling-appointment-request-form/
Article Written By: Stacie Courtney-Mustaphi B.Soc.Sci, MA Candidate