Seven common myths about therapy

blurred image of man in therapy

It is estimated that more than one in ten people globally live with a mental health disorder. Yet, some people still have difficulty getting help because of misconceptions about therapy.

As the stigma around mental health gets addressed in our society, people will feel more comfortable sharing their struggles with issues such as addiction, anxiety, stress, and depression

If you are considering starting therapy but questioning if it’s right for you, then continue reading. We’ll debunk the most common myths about therapy. 

1. You need to be mentally ill to start therapy

The most common myth about therapy is that one needs to be mentally ill to start therapy. 

Whether you’re going through a challenging time or just want to explore your personality, build resilience or improve your relationships, therapy is a stepping stone to a better life.

Therapy opens the door to self-awareness and helps you align your life with your authentic self. Every person in the world has a personality trait they can improve on, and it doesn’t have to escalate to destruction for one to address it.

2. Therapy is just talking while lying down

Movies and TV depicting a therapy session are to blame for this myth. Although the client or the patient does most of the talking, therapists are there to guide them through the process.

Therapists understand your biases and can put them into context by learning about your past. They also ask questions and challenge you to go beyond your coping mechanisms and self-limiting beliefs. 

Besides, various forms of therapy don’t include talking, such as EMDR, art, and movement therapy.  

3. People will think you’re crazy if you go to therapy

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One of the most harmful myths that have built the stigma around mental health is believing people will think poorly of us for needing or wanting therapy.

There is nothing crazy about people who can assess themselves and decide they should seek help to improve their well-being. If that were the case, we’d have to call people who go to the doctor crazy too.

Unfortunately, some people still feel unable to admit to their suffering because of generational or cultural bias and view those who seek help as weak – often referring to their experience as “a lot worse” than others, but something they just needed to deal with on their own.

Yet, most people who think they have dealt with a lot worse can benefit a lot more from being in therapy.

4. I don’t need a therapist, I have friends I can talk to

Our support circle, such as family and friends, can be incredibly skilled in making us feel better. However, talking to a friend is simply not the same as speaking to a therapist.

A friend or family member sees us from a lens they have created over the years of knowing us. They have a rooted conception of us even when we want to change our old habits and some aspects of our identity. Their love for us also sometimes limits their judgment in situations where we need to be challenged to improve our behavior.

A therapist won’t tell you what to do, validate or judge you. Instead, their whole purpose is to guide you through your emotions and thoughts, navigating you towards growth, happiness, and change you want to achieve.

5. I tried therapy, but it will never work for me

men undergoing therapy

For some people, trusting others becomes more and more difficult as they grow older, and therapy requires a high level of trust. So when their first experience in therapy doesn’t match their expectations, they may feel disillusioned.

However, connecting with the right therapist for your needs and goals isn’t always straightforward, and this doesn’t mean therapy won’t work for you. At the same time, there are many therapy methods, and a few sessions can’t prove that therapy can’t work for you.

Trusting the process and committing to your treatment is what makes therapy work.

6. Therapy is only for rich people

Especially over the past few years, the demand for therapy has increased and made mental health support more accessible. Although our society may still perceive therapy as a luxury, help is available to those who seek it.

More affordable therapy options are emerging quickly so people from all backgrounds can benefit from improving their mental health. 

7. Therapy is painful, and I’m not ready

Another common misconception about therapy is that it’s always painful, and some believe it may worsen things. However, therapists know how to pace their treatment to fit their patients’ needs.

Although therapy brings up many feelings and makes us more vulnerable, most sessions bring an immense feeling of relief. Therapy helps unload the burden of things you keep to yourself, whether you feel guilty, ashamed, sad, angry, or anything else.

At Tikvah Lake, we take a one-on-one approach to each of our residents and tailor our treatment process to their needs, personality, and struggles. Our 30-90 day residential treatment program is structured to provide in-depth healing to individuals who want to see progress quickly.

Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you or someone you know.

About Adam Nesenoff

Adam Nesenoff has been working in recovery for over ten years.

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