There are so many opinions amongst our peers, family, and on the Internet that may lead us to mythical facts regarding therapy. You might have found yourself second-guessing if therapy is the right choice by thinking too much about these myths. We can often talk ourselves out of almost anything based on those around us. Therapy is one of those main topics where others' opinions can way heavy on us.
Hearing encounters others have had with therapy can often cloud our judgment. Dealing with our personal issues can have its challenges on top of deciding to seek professional help. The myths we discover along the way can be overthought, but we can learn to see past them.
We analyze so much that can go wrong, that we may miss what the benefits are to accepting therapy. Sometimes the myths or misconceptions seem to outweigh the positive side of reaching out to a therapist. With the many myths to therapy, it may be difficult to overcome them. Let’s talk about some common myths, you may have about therapy.
- Therapy is only for big issues
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I don’t need therapy” or “It’s not that serious for me to talk to someone” or “I can handle this on my own”, then this might be a myth that you have believed. You may have convinced yourself into thinking that you don’t really need the help. You may have encountered family members or friends who have suggested you don’t need therapy which could make you lose focus on your main mental health goals. Upbringing and cultural norms can also shift your thoughts on therapy.
Myth Buster: Anyone can enjoy the benefits of therapy, whether you want to set life goals, work on personal growth or establish healthy relationships. You don’t have to be at your lowest to seek help. Studies have shown that being proactive about your mental health, can prevent concerns from festering into a larger problem.
- Therapy is for the weak
What our perspective is on seeking a therapist is often rooted back to our upbringing. What others think of us is often a deciding factor in whether or not we go through with therapy. Many of us might have encountered the saying “therapy is for the weak”, but this is simply not true. People often think therapy is a way that those who cannot handle life and always seems to have an issue are the only ones who seek therapy.
Myth Buster: A recent study showed that 1 in 6 Americans have started therapy for the first time in 2020. Dealing with the issues that we have been faced with since 2020 is difficult for all of us. Noticing that you need some support and taking action is actually a strength rather than a weakness. Some of the most successful people such as Beyonce, Serena Williams, and even Michelle Obama have discussed talking to a therapist. Facing your issues takes real strength.
Related Blog: "11 Reasons to Give Therapy a Try"
- If I start, I will have to go forever
Some may have the misunderstanding that therapy is forever, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Depending on the condition, 10 sessions is the most common amount given to mild conditions where more severe cases might be up to 50. Periodic sessions are suggested, but it is merely up to your discretion unless otherwise told by a professional.
However long you choose to go to therapy you are learning about yourself and techniques to deal with difficult situations. Dealing with and healing issues through your life takes time and patience. To truly heal we must trust the process regardless of long we may need to ensure we are on the right path to bettering ourselves.
- Therapy doesn't work
If you ever tried therapy and it just seemed to leave you feeling the same or worse, it could have been for many reasons. Therapy is just like dating. You may have to shop around before you find the perfect one for you. Finding the right therapist is important to get the best results out of your therapy sessions. The right therapist is only part of the solution to the healing process.
The recipe for success is a great therapist, hard work on your part, and a willingness to be open to what the therapist may suggest. Be honest with yourself about previous sessions. Did you truly give it a try? Going into a session thinking it will not work, can cause you to be closed-minded and not open to solutions. You may have experienced a negative session or two, but don’t give up, there is hope for healing.
- Couples only going to therapy before they get a divorce
Seeking marital counseling is not a sign that your relationship is falling apart or headed toward divorce. Many couples seek therapy to better understand their partner’s needs and to learn to effectively communicate with one another. Often times many couples who have this thought that couples therapy, is only for preventing a divorce, typically wait too long to seek therapy.
Myth Buster: Therapy can often give your relationship a restart button or be a great way just to check in with each other. It is okay to seek help if we ever feel the need. Therapy isn’t just for issues that cause divorce. Getting insight from a professional can provide your relationship with goals and provide each individual with the opportunity to be more open in a safe space.
- Therapy is too expensive
So many of us avoid specialty help due to the hefty price tag, but there are so many ways to seek help without worrying about the cost. If you are fortunate enough to afford medical insurance it is possible your insurance may cover a percentage or all of your therapy cost. Some health plans even have health savings accounts that can cover the out-of-pocket cost if your insurance does not cover therapy.
For those who may not be able to afford insurance, look for a therapist who works on a sliding scale or locations that offer recent therapy graduates programs. Sliding scale therapists will work on a price that fits your budget and graduate programs offer low-cost or sometimes free therapy sessions in order for graduates to meet on-the-job experience, with a supervised therapist.
Therapy can be one of the most positive life decisions you may make. You may hear a variety of myths regarding therapy, but analyze your needs and make the decision to better yourself. Overcoming these myths can greatly help you make the decision to seek the help you need. No problem is too small nor too big to seek therapeutic support.
We all can benefit from support outside our immediate circle, we just have to be open to therapy assisting on our journey. Therapy is not considered weak, for the rich, or only for those that have severe concerns. Therapy can help us all.