Often when speaking about psychological and emotional health, I’m asked about therapy. People are curious. What type of person calls for services? Do they feel better? I always share that all types and varieties of people seek therapy and most feel better and create change in their lives!
Myth #1: Therapy is only for “those” people. Anyone can benefit from therapy. Receiving support can be crucial when there’s been a death of a loved one, loss of a job or experience of a traumatic event. Major life changes, such as marriage or ending of a relationship, stress our mental and emotional abilities. Many people who decide to take charge of their health often find they need a coach in their corner as they bravely peek into the dark closet of secrets as to why they neglected themselves. Sometimes we just get tired of living a ho-hum life and want a safe, protected place in which to explore our dreams and aspirations. Therapy is a tool to be used by anyone on their path of Authentic Expansion and well-being.
Myth #2: Therapy is only for serious problems. Hopefully after reading myth #1, you’ve caught on to what I’m going to say. Therapy is for everyone and not only for big problems. When ignored, the little things can build into a landslide! Most of us can’t hold our breath long enough to survive being smothered by life, and instead become swallowed up in sadness, worry and fear. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way. Seeking support when the pebbles start to pile up is landslide prevention.
Myth #3: Therapy is for the weak who can’t resolve their own problems. Participating in therapy is courageous and a bold action of self-love. Making ourselves a priority is a greater show of strength than keeping things to ourselves. There’s no need to suffer in silence or engage in behaviors which harm us (overeating, abusing alcohol or substances, excess buying) in an effort to ignore what is upsetting. There is great courage in allowing another human to witness our vulnerability because we want to show up differently in our lives.
Myth #4: Therapy lasts forever and everyone must lie on a couch. Yes it’s true that some psychologists do own couches, but it isn’t a requirement! It’s also true that some forms of therapy, commonly referred to as psychoanalysis, can be ongoing. However, the benefits of therapy can occur after brief periods of time such as weeks or months. That’s right! Not everyone who engages in therapy makes a life commitment. How long therapy lasts depends on the reasons you’re seeking support and your level of motivation. Successful therapy also has a lot to do with how you feel about your therapist.
Myth #5: I went to a psychologist (therapist), I didn’t get better and so therapy doesn’t work. One of the key factors to successful therapy is the therapist-client relationship. Science has proven the relationship between therapist and client accounts for a large degree of why people feel better. Other factors like motivation to make changes and commitment to the process also have large roles. But by far, how you feel about your therapist is a big piece of the pie. Take the time to be an informed consumer (you are purchasing a product!) and research your options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I can’t stress this enough. If a professional can’t answer your questions before providing a service do you really want to choose her/him? Ask how the therapist believes people change, does she/he have experience working with the situation you’re seeking support with, and is there a practical fit with their hours, fees, and location.
Therapy is a tool accessible to anyone who decides they want, and can benefit from, this type of support. Being an active participant in the therapy process is a key factor to success. Liking your provider and trusting they have your best interest at heart is essential. The best clients are the ones who sit firmly in the driver’s seat of life taking proactive steps toward growth.
Smooth Rock Psychological Services, LLC