Misconception: Only crazy/weak/broken people go to therapy.
Reality: There remains a stigma about therapy in our culture that scares many people away from seeking help. Needing therapy is not about being "crazy", "broken", or "weak". It's about being self-aware enough to realize that you are not where you want to be in life. Therapy is merely a tool that exists to help you explore your struggles, strengths, and personal beliefs so that you can realize your full potential and reach your goals.
Misconception: Talking to friends or family is just as effective as going to a therapist.
Reality: Friends and family can be an excellent source of support but they are not equipped to help to the same extent that a therapist can. Friends and family can offer encouragement and advice but they just don’t know the same techniques, styles, and various applications of therapeutic methods that therapists do.
misconception: My therapist is going to judge me and think i am the worst person ever.
Reality: Trust me, therapists have seen it all! They work with all sorts of problems and aren’t going to judge anyone. Therapists completely understand that everybody will experience challenges at some point in their lives. Besides, most therapists have their own therapist!
Misconception: Therapists just listen to you talk.
Reality: Yes, therapists are great listeners, but that's not all they do. Therapists hold at least a master’s degree and have received years of training and experience that have equipped them with the knowledge, empathy, perspective, and skills to help you get through the most difficult times of your life.
Misconception: My therapist will tell me what to do.
Reality: Therapy is not about getting advice and therapists will never tell you what you "should" do. Therapists are able to see things from many different angles and can understand different perspectives simultaneously. Using their unique skillset, your therapist will help guide you in the direction you choose to go.
Misconception: therapy is only for serious issues.
Reality: There is no issue too small to see a therapist if it is having a negative effect on your life. Therapy can address severe issues like mental illness and trauma but it also helps with stress, anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues, self-esteem, and confidence, among other concerns.
Misconception: therapy is just common sense.
Reality: Therapy gives you insight that is unique to you. Also, there may be times that you think you already know what you need to do about something that is negatively affecting your life, but you are not able to take the steps necessary to get there. Therapy can help you take action.
Misconception: therapy can only help if my therapist experienced the same thing.
Reality: Although it can be helpful and reassuring to know that you can relate to your therapist, most clinicians are very familiar with a variety of issues and can help you regardless of their personal experiences. It is certainly possible to find a therapist who has gone through similar things, but it isn’t entirely necessary.
misconception: Therapy is too expensive.
Reality: Yes, it's true that the cost of therapy can be prohibitive for many people. However, it is important to consider therapy as an investment in yourself. Also, ask yourself about the cost of not addressing the issues that you have been struggling with. Are you losing money at work? Are you missing out on time with friends or family? Is your schoolwork suffering? Are you simply not where you want to be in life? Think about how your distress is affecting your life and then make an informed decision about pricing.
Misconception: you'll always need therapy.
Reality: Therapy is not permanent. Ultimately, you decide how long you are in therapy. You can begin and end when and if you choose. Some people only want or need a few sessions while others benefit from long-term therapy. If you are not sure about how much therapy you need, you can always consult with your therapist. Together, you can decide what will be best for your unique needs. Once your issues are resolved there is no reason to continue therapy further.