Deciding to go to therapy is an important step towards investing in our mental and emotional health just as we are often proud of doing for our physical health when we join a gym or other wellness program. Though going to therapy is becoming a much more accepted and open part of healthcare, there often remains a bit of mystique and confusion around what therapy is and does.
If you’re still on the fence about going to therapy, you might be holding on to some popular myths that lead to confusion and conflicted feelings about therapy. We’re debunking the top 6 myths about treatment to help you make clear decisions about what’s right for you.
- Myth: Therapy is only for severe problems.
No! Anyone who needs someone to talk to can seek therapy. Many people in treatment are people who’ve taken steps to include mental/emotional health in their healthcare plan for themselves. It’s always a good idea to have a professional ear to talk to.
- Myth: Supportive friends and family are a substitute for therapy.
Nope, another myth. There’s a reason therapists only begin providing therapy after getting a graduate degree at a minimum. Listening is a lot harder than it looks and giving workable strategies for a variety of people’s struggles requires a high level of skill.
- Myth: Therapy is for the wealthy only.
While the cost of therapy could undoubtedly stand to decrease, not all treatment is priced out of the average person’s budget. Not only do many therapists offer sliding pay scales that take into account clients financial needs, but therapy can even be obtained for free if you use the right connections, such as attending a university or using your job’s insurance benefits.
- Myth: All therapy consists of lying on a couch and recounting childhood issues.
While you can do this if you want to, most therapy is no longer functioning based on this Freudian model from long ago. There are many schools of therapeutic theory that guide the way a therapist will interact with clients. Some therapists are trained in methods that spend little time at all in examining the past.
- Myth: Therapy results in being put on medication.
This is a big misconception, especially since, depending on your therapist’s education, if they aren’t an M. D., they won’t be able to prescribe medication to begin with. Many therapists want to get to the root of the problem to help before it gets to that level.
- Myth: Therapists push their views of mental wellness on clients.
Not only is this a myth, but it’s against the ethical code by which therapists abide. Even starting in undergraduate, therapists are trained to avoid all instances of influencing a client with their own value system versus helping the client examine their value system and its application to the issue at hand.
There are a lot of myths about therapy, but it’s only a detriment to ourselves if we allow these myths to keep us from drawing on the robust healthcare that therapy can provide. The field has only continued to grow every year, showing the value of therapy isn’t lessening up anytime soon.