8 Common Therapy Myths

Therapy is an ever-changing field.

There is a lot of mystery around the therapy process, especially for those who have never experienced it. With mental health stigma and confidentiality, it can be hard to know what truly goes on in a therapy session unless you are in the room. There are a lot of misconceptions about therapy that can prevent people from seeking help when they want or need it. Let’s challenge them!

What are some common therapy myths?

  • Therapy is only for people with severe mental illness or psychosis

A lot of people believe that therapy is only necessary if you are experiencing psychosis or can’t function. The truth is that therapy can be for anyone and everyone with a desire to get to know themselves a little better.

  • Therapy is shameful

Therapy is just talking to someone about your feelings and life experiences! Nothing about that has to be shameful.

  • My therapist will force me to talk about my childhood.

Your therapist will never force you to talk about anything. Therapy is a relationship, and both sides have to have input for the relationship to work. If you feel ready to talk about your childhood, great. If you don’t want to, that is totally fine.

  • My therapist will tell everyone my business.

Therapists are bound by a strict set of rules known as HIPAA. If you are over the age of 18, we are legally not allowed to talk to anyone about your sessions, or even acknowledge that you are a client, unless you are a danger to yourself or someone else, we suspect child or elder abuse, or you give us sign a form giving us written permission to do so. This includes your family or other mental health providers. If you can’t trust your therapist, therapy doesn’t work.

  • Therapy means I will have to take medication.

Therapists cannot prescribe medication unless they are also medical professionals. Medication is managed exclusively by medical professionals, like psychiatrists or nurse practitioners. Medication is often helpful alongside therapy, but you do not have to take medication to be in therapy.

Other common myths include:

  • My therapist will tell me how to fix my problems

Therapists are not in the business of telling people what to do, because giving advice creates dependence on the therapist. What we do instead, is ask questions to help you think about a problem differently and come up with a solution for yourself.

  • My therapist will be my friend

Therapists have strict ethical codes that keep “dual relationships” from occurring. Our relationship exists inside the therapy office. This means that we can’t and won’t involve ourselves in your life outside of sessions. 

  • Once I start, I’ll have to be in therapy for the rest of my life

Some people make the choice to be in therapy long term. Some people don’t. You have the choice to start or end therapy whenever you want to. A therapist is not going to require you to be in therapy forever, and some types of therapy can be effective if attended for shorter periods. The length of treatment is between you and the therapist.

Going to therapy can feel scary at first.

As you get to know your therapist, you will continue to get comfortable with them, and to build a relationship. That relationship can help you to understand how to build more healthy relationships, work through trauma, and adjust ways of coping to be healthier in the long run. Not only can you learn a lot from therapy, but you can also help yourself feel better.  

If you don’t feel like you’re getting what you need from your therapist, tell them! Therapists are there to help you, and we are open to feedback. If you don’t feel like the relationship is working, we will understand and can help you find someone to better suit your needs. 

The most important thing to remember is that therapy is for anyone who wants it. 

Interested in trying it out for yourself? Give us a call at 217-203-2008 Option 1 or email us to schedule an appointment and start promoting peace from within. 

Want to read more blogs by Emily? Find them here https://champaigncounseling.com/emily-beck-lcsw/

Resources:

https://comprehensiveclinic.byu.edu/debunking-12-myths-about-therapy 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-right-mindset/202005/10-common-myths-about-therapy