Even if mental health is at the forefront now more than ever, a lot of people still have a lot of reservations about going to therapy. In some cases, it might be because of personal hang-ups or because they aren’t ready to open themselves. But in many cases, it is because of false ideas that have been circulating about therapy and the psychiatric field in general for years. Very few also understand how therapy works and what the process is like exactly. Let’s take a look at a few myths and misconceptions people have about therapy.
It’s expensive and inconvenient
A lot of people assume that therapy is out of their budget or that they can’t afford to go to therapy sessions every week because of their schedule. Others may simply not have the resources where they live. But there is an increasing number of virtual therapy services that allow you to meet a therapist from the comfort of your home. This could be enough to resolve your issues, but also a gateway to seeing a therapist in person.
Your issues are not important enough
Some may also assume that their issues are not serious enough for them to see a therapist. Just because you have been able to live a semi-normal life until now, lingering issues can start eating at you. Or you may have some issues you weren’t aware of that keep ruining your relationships with the people around you. Or you might be on a self-destructive path without even realizing it.
A lot of people are in denial about their issues as well. They assume that it’s all everybody else’s fault, but they might not realise that they’re the problem. A therapist will be able to sit down with you and get to the root of an issue before it starts festering and affecting every aspect of your life.
A therapist will force you to discuss issues you don’t want to
Yes, you may uncover serious issues in your life and re-open wounds during a session with a therapist, but this will never be done by force. However, you should know that the more you hold back, the harder it will be for them to help you.
It’s normal to be apprehensive about discussing difficult topics with a complete stranger. This is why a good therapist will start slow and focus on building trust first. Only then will they try to approach certain topics. You shouldn’t let the fear of discussing old traumatic events stop you from seeking help or else they will keep haunting you for the rest of your life.
You don’t need a therapist because you have a solid support system
While friends and family can definitely be a good source of support, they can be enablers as well. Your friends are a reflection of who you are, whether it’s good or bad. Also, having to deal with your issues constantly can put a strain on a relationship. Instead of going to friends who may not be able to deal with these issues and carry the burden, talk to a specialist.
These are only a few examples of myths that are perpetuated about therapy. Make sure that you learn the truth about what it is and talk to people who were able to benefit from it.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.