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Debunking the Top 10 myths about therapy

Greensburg Daily News - 5/27/2024

May 27—Therapy is often clouded by misconceptions and myths that can discourage people from seeking the help they need. Things such as societal stigma, lack of education, and misinformation can all attribute to harmful myths surrounding therapy and mental health in general. It's important to know the truth behind common misunderstandings surrounding therapy by shedding a light on its effectiveness, purpose, and what to expect.

Knowing what is true about therapy can help you make informed decisions about your mental health while encouraging you to explore the benefits of therapy.

Here are the top 10 common myths about therapy, and the truth behind them:

Myth #1: You can only go to therapy if something is "wrong"

Truth: Therapy is not only used to remedy diagnosed behaviors and emotions. It's also helpful to use as a support when you're feeling down and it can help guide and support people through various life choices and circumstances.

Myth #2: All you do is sit there and talk

Truth: While talking does play a major role in the therapy process, there are numerous methods and approaches to engage in therapy services that may not require as much discussion. Different types of therapy address concerns using various approaches which may include making art, playing with toys, or spending time with animals.

Myth #3: I'm already self-aware, so therapy can't help me

Truth: Therapy was once believed to only be for people who have specific circumstances or mental health diagnoses. In reality, therapy is for anyone who needs emotional support, advice, guidance, and structure in their lives. Therapy can also provide resources for daily living by coordinating care services.

Myth #4: Someone who doesn't know me can't help me

Truth: Sometimes an unbiased response is needed to help address certain circumstances in life. Having an uninvolved third-party can be beneficial in helping see things from a different perspective.

Myth #5: It'll take years for me to sort out my issues

Truth: In the early stages of treatment, you and your therapist will likely set goals and determine a method to track progress. Therapy is complete when you achieve all of the goals you identified, and there is no set timeline for this.

Myth #6: I can solve my issue in just one or two sessions

Truth: Therapy is a process and the time spent in sessions depends on a number of things. The patient has to be open and willing to engage in therapy, and the clinician has to gain trust and build a rapport with the patient. Time frames for therapy also depend on the concerns that need to be addressed and how long it takes for progress to be made.

Myth #7: My therapist will just give me the same advice that my friends and family would

Truth: Therapists are trained professionals and learn to address numerous concerns such as trauma, abuse, neglect, attachment, mental health, or behavioral issues from a high-level, clinical perspective that others in your life may not be equipped to provide.

Myth #8: All therapy is the same

Truth: All therapy is not the same and there are many approaches involved in providing care. The method used depends on the goals/objectives of therapy sessions and the need(s) of the patient. Some patients enjoy relaxation therapy before the talking begins, and some people need guidance in learning to accept responsibility for their actions, or creating plans to improve their reactions to stress.

Myth #9: People will think less of me for going to therapy

Truth: People who may think less of someone who engages in therapy may not know what therapy involves and may need to be educated on its processes and methods. The goal of therapy is to improve a person's well-being, not diminish it.

Myth #10: Talking won't help

Truth: Talking is only one form of therapy and sometimes it allows issues to be addressed even if the process also involves writing or drawing as a more effective form of treatment. Not all therapy involves talking exclusively, and some may not talk at all. There can be patients who express themselves using body gestures or sign language.

For more information, call 877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123). — Information provided

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