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6 Common Myths About Therapy

18 August 2022

Happiness can be as conspicuous as a grin stretching from ear to ear. But it can also be unapparent, like the deep-seated joy you feel in your stomach when you see food or the pounding in your chest upon receiving an acceptance email from your first-choice university. Most importantly, happiness is a state of mind every individual wants to attain.

Scientists say happiness is a state of emotional well-being one feels in a specific good moment or as a positive assessment of one’s lifetime. In any case, many people would stop at nothing to be happy and be at ease with themselves. After all, it is the ultimate reason why most individuals go for therapy.

Primarily, therapy means treatment aimed at curing an illness. That said, therapy can also refer to psychological treatment for mental disorders.

Psychological therapy and counselling were not well understood by the general public in the past, which led to numerous misunderstandings about the treatment; this may have been related to the nature of the problem it addresses.

Having said that, this article will address a few misconceptions about therapy and reestablish the facts surrounding the treatment. The following are six common myths about therapy.

● Myth 1: Therapy is only for severe psychological problems

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, the more significant percentage of individuals who undergo therapy and counselling are not ‘crazy’. These people are as intelligent, stable, and perhaps learned as the average individual in the society.

The desire to put an end to their psychological and emotional troubles is the thing that sets therapy patients apart from other people. In fact, many people visit a therapist to learn ways to handle their feelings and thoughts better.

Hence, it would be a mistake to think you need to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder before you start seeing a counsellor.

● Myth 2: You don't need therapy when you can talk to a friend

Fact: Indeed, speaking to a trusted fellow on issues that affect you will go a long way to help you. However, what many people fail to understand is that the goal of professional therapy is quite different from the benefits of relating your troubles to a friend.

A friend or family can not diagnose or treat different emotional, behavioural, and mental issues. Therapists, on the other hand, are professionals who have undergone intense training to do that.

So, while communicating your troubles with a friend offers tremendous mental benefits, it can not replace the essence of therapy.

● Myth 3: Not many people see a therapist

Fact: The only reason this myth exists is that not every individual is proud of being seen as a therapy patient. Although the stigma is diminishing these days, the perception around attending therapy and counselling sessions is still not entirely positive - unlike going to the gym, seeing a physiotherapist, or even a dietician.

In the United Kingdom, one in eight adults (12.1%) receives mental health treatment of some sort. It is essential to point out that 10.4% of this percentage receive medication while 3% receive psychological therapy. That said, there is an overlap where 1.3% of the initial 12.1% receive both treatments.

With these statistics, it is clear that mental illness is not some curse or terminal disease and many people around you attend therapy.

● Myth 4: Therapy is one and the same

Fact: The belief that every therapy is the same is particularly common amongst people who have tried therapy once and it didn't quite work out for them. Understandably, it can be difficult for some people to go for counselling again. Instead, they find it easier to just assume that therapy is the same and ineffective for them.

But the truth is, there are various types of therapy, and you may need to experiment to find the one that suits you. For instance, individuals dealing with anxiety and depression may need Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as it focuses on transforming their unhelpful, negative thoughts.

● Myth 5: Therapy isn't confidential

Fact: Many people often have concerns about their privacy when they see a therapist. Considering that therapy requires you to share your innermost feelings, thoughts, and fears, it is not out of place to worry about the confidentiality of your sessions.

That said, every therapist is bound - by a code of ethics - to keep all their patients’ information private. So, it is deemed unprofessional for therapists to share information about their patients. In fact, there are sanctions for therapists found unethical in discharging their duties.

However, there are a few exceptions to this code. For instance, a therapist can decide to inform the necessary authorities if they find that their patient may be considering harming themselves or other people.

● Myth 6: Therapy takes forever

Fact: It is a general assumption that one needs to continue therapy their whole life to stay happy; this can be even more disconcerting when some people look at the cost.

But here’s the truth - you don't necessarily have to see a counsellor forever or even for a few years.  After all, the essence of therapy is to ensure that you become a better version of yourself, one that can survive on its own.

The length of psychological therapy often depends on your goals, the severity of your issue, and your needs.

Final Thoughts

From assuming it is for ‘crazy’ people to thinking it is a never-ending treatment, psychological therapy is an aspect of health shrouded in numerous mysteries - based on sentiments and hearsay.

So, if you want to take the big step and seek psychological help from a trained professional, we hope this article teaches you some significant truths about therapy.