Myth: Therapists only want to take money from you.
Truth: There are far easier ways to make money than to listen to people’s problems all day. I doubt there are many therapists who are in it for the money. All therapists do what they do because they genuinely like people and care about them. Therapists spend many years in school studying the human mind and behaviour. They are there to help you deal with any issue or problem you are dealing with, and they can help you see things from a different point of view and aim to help you resolve complex matters. Regardless of the reason you may seek out therapy—whether it is for self-esteem issues, substance abuse or personal issues—they are there to help you do what is best for you. It’s unfortunate if you’ve had a bad experience but please don’t judge all on the basis of one (or even several) bad experiences.
Myth: Therapy is just common sense.
Truth: Sometimes problems can be presented in such a complex way that a simple understanding really helps. However, While it may seem that the simplest forms of advice should be seen as common sense, this is not how therapy works. The brain is an immensely complex organ that is only partially understood by the most knowledgeable neuroscientists. By extension, this means that mental health is a complex area as well. If we try to implement common sense solutions in the mental health arena, we run the risk of being too simplistic and not appreciating the full scope of the problem. Therapy sessions give you the ability to self-reflect, gain insight, and see problems from a different angle. That’s much better than leaping to a common-sense outcome that doesn’t address the problem.
Myth: Therapy solves nothing.
Truth: If you go into a therapy session with a negative attitude, you will likely prove this myth to be true. It’s important to note that you are not going to get all the answers to heal your mind from only one therapy session. Therapy consists of multiple sessions that slowly unpack the reasons you sought out help in the first place. Therapy also helps you think about alternatives to your current behaviour, as well as think in-depth about any past behaviours. So, multiple sessions would be more helpful to clear your mind. Plus, the number of sessions needed vary from individual to individual, it all comes down to the progress you make during each visit.
Myth: Therapy is very expensive.
Truth: At first glance, most people are usually concerned about the price of therapy—but it does not have to be expensive. There are communities that give free therapy and counselling sessions, and many health insurances do cover the costs. It is a good idea to look into finding the right therapist, preferably one who will accept your insurance. You can use websites like Psychology Today Therapists to find therapists in your area and filter them by your insurance provider.
Myth: A positive attitude will fix everything.
Truth: It is important to have an uplifting attitude during dark moments, but even that cannot solve every problem. While a positive outlook can’t prevent all mental health conditions, it can reduce your risk of developing depression and anxiety. One reason for this is that by focusing on the good things that happen, you naturally spend less time dwelling on the bad things and ruminating about the less pleasant part of life. However, brushing off a problem often worsens it—so you may need to seek help from a therapist. Therapists provide a way to help you understand what is going on and can guide you to make the right decisions.
Myth: Only “crazy” people or those who have serious issues seek therapy.
Truth: The most common reason people avoid seeking the help of a therapist is the belief that it will mean they are weak, incapable of solving problems on their own, or that they are simply “crazy.” But it goes beyond that. The reality is that the majority of people in therapy are ordinary, everyday people dealing with ordinary, everyday problems. Adjusting to major life changes, experiencing grief, processing anger, improving relationships, working on self-esteem, and addressing core beliefs about one’s body image are all examples of common issues which bring people to therapy. There are many other issues people go to therapy for, of course, which likewise are absolutely normal. Going to therapy is, in fact, an indication of emotional maturity, an indication that a person can accept that he or she needs the help or guidance of another and is willing to do what is necessary to take care of himself/herself.
Myth: All therapists are the same.
Truth: Like doctors, each therapist is specialised in different areas ranging from cognitive therapy to psychoanalytic therapy. In addition to this, each therapist also has a different way of conducting his or her session. Finding the right therapist is like finding the right hairdresser—it takes time, and chemistry is pivotal in building the right relationship to suit your needs and help you become a better person in the long run. But do remember, that a psychologist & a therapists do have differences.