There’s a lot of outdated, confusing and downright scary information out there regarding psychotherapy. While a lot of this information should be taken with a veritable mountain of salt, there are, for some reason, many myths surrounding psychotherapy that are believed by alarming numbers of well educated people. In fact, many people whose lives could be vastly improved with a little psychotherapy, refuse to even consider it, due to misinformation.
You have to be “psychotic” to go to psychotherapy
Many people believe that psychotherapy is only for those diagnosed with “serious” issues. The reality is that a huge range of people visit therapists, to discuss a large spectrum of issues. From relationship advice, to those wishing to deal with stress better, anyone who wants to improve their life can consider psychotherapy – there’s no shame in it.
Therapy is common sense
Many people disregard therapy because they believe all therapists do is spout common knowledge. In reality, the knowledge learnt from your therapist won’t be common at all, but will be unique to you. You are the subject and as much as you might think you know from TV or pop psychology, there tends to be a wealth of knowledge, hidden within us all.
Therapy is no different than speaking to friends or family
While support from friends and family is valuable, it really is not the same as speaking to a trained therapist. Firstly, a therapist is someone you can talk to absolutely frankly and openly, whom you have no personal attachment to. It’s all about you and they will never talk about themselves, plus they’re pretty much sworn to secrecy. Secondly, they’ve spent many years training to diagnose and treat cognitive and behavioral issues.
People who go to therapy are weak
This is a sad, but common misconception. Are hospital patients weak because they’re not healing their own broken bones? Of course not, they simply don’t have the training, and the same is true for mental health. It takes strength to actively seek help, a great deal more than staying stuck in a rut.