We learned via an article by the Huffington Post that misconceptions about seeking therapy may actually stop someone who wants to see a therapist. However, they stated that Noah Rubinstein, founder and CEO of therapist directory GoodTherapy.org, says, “People go to therapy to cope with disorders, relationships, stress, grief, to figure out who they are and learn to live life to the fullest. There’s no shame in wanting a better life.” Read on to learn about 10 of the most common myths about seeking a therapist.
Myth #1 Therapy Is Like Having a Paid Friend
There is a difference between spending time with your best friend and visiting your therapist. The article stated that Noah Rubinstein says, “"There's a myth that you pay someone to be nice to you and care for you -- what I tell my clients is that you pay for time and expertise and the caring is free”. Also, therapists are trained and professional in their work, and can not see their clients outside of the office.
Myth #2 Therapy Means You Are ‘Crazy’
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness but strength. We all need help at times and seeing a therapist does not mean you are ‘crazy’. People go through periods of depression or anxiety and the media often has stereotypes of what patients look like. The truth is, we all need help at some point and should reach out for help.
Myth #3 Therapy Is Endless
Therapy is not a never-ending session that will go on of your entire life. The article states that Rubinstein says, “"A lot of people are afraid that if they go to therapy it will go on and on. Some people may never heal in this lifetime but for most people, the average therapy course is three or four months”. Depending on the type of therapist you see, therapists are trained to make a plan for treatment.
Myth #4 Therapy Is Expensive
Therapy can be expensive, but Rubinstein suggests looking at your insurance providers to help with the cost. He also says to take a holistic view, saying “When you think about price, what's the cost of not doing therapy? Your job performance?”. Think about how your distress may conflict with your work or relationships, then make a choice about the costs.
Myth #5 Therapists Will Blame and Shame You
This myth comes out of mainstream media, such as shows like Dr.Phil where he blames and confronts his clients. However, this isn’t how therapy is suppose to work. Therapy is about composition and is suppose to allow clients to “experience their own emotional breakthroughs at their own pace.
Myth #6 Medication Is Just As Effective as Therapy
Not all problems can be resolved with medicine. Rubinstein says, “he medical model assumes that most psychological problems are caused by biochemistry, rather than viewing biochemical changes as a symptom, and can overlook the experience of losing jobs, divorce, deaths in the family etc.” The article states that emotional stress can not be solved with just medication and that people should look at options for one-on-one therapy.
Myth #7 Therapy Is Passive
Many people think therapy is passive. However, therapists are taught excellent listening skills and are trained to understand their patient’s struggles.
Myth #8 Therapy Is All Happy Thoughts
New clients expect their therapist to change their views and convince them to be happy. However, therapy doesn’t work by thinking happy thought. In order to reach happiness, a person needs to overcome the unhappy thoughts. The article states, “Working with a client one-on-one, therapists are able to go through a person's painful past and give them hope for a peaceful future.”
Myth #9 There Is Nothing You Can Do About The Past
There is the assumption that therapy is about moving forward and not looking back. However, Rubinstein says, “When we do this, our past still haunts us. Good therapy allows people to go to those places where they have been wounded and burned and resolve these feelings”.
Myth #10 Therapy Will Make Your Painful Problems Worse
Bringing up the past can bring about bad memories, however good therapists can guide you through the painful experiences in a way that is safe and not overwhelming.
Now that you learned about the conceptions about therapy, why not give a session a try?
We have two therapists at Community Well, Leah Chalofsky, MFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Brigitte Knight, Child & Family Therapist.
Leah provides therapy for individuals, couples, and families and has experience working with clients on many issues, including reproductive and maternal health, depression, anxiety, recovery from trauma, domestic violence, substance abuse, and adolescent challenges.
Brigitte specializes in treatment for children ages birth through adolescence and their families. She uses a strengths based approach and believes the therapeutic relationship creates opportunities for change and healing.
Share these 10 misconceptions with a friend and spread the word about how therapy is beneficial for everyone!