Updated: Jan 13
Therapy can be a nerve wracking and overwhelming experience at times, especially for those who have never been in therapy before. Within the last few years, we have seen tremendous progress in society over the stigmatization of therapy and its benefits and while seeking out therapy seems to be a common theme and a widely talked about topic, there have been a lot of things written about therapy over the years but how do you know fact from fiction? Here are 5 common misconceptions about therapy in hopes of changing your mind about seeking help.
1. Therapy is for only people with mental health issues
Therapy can be for anyone and everyone. You do not need to have a mental health diagnosis to seek out therapy. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them, someone with an outside view. There are several different reasons as to why someone may seek out a therapist.
2. The therapist will tell my stories to other people
Your therapist is bound by professional confidentiality; therefore, they will not tell other people your stories. Confidentiality may be limited if you present as a harm to yourself or others, if there is suspected abuse or neglect, or if you are a minor and engaging in risky behavior. Otherwise, whatever you tell your therapist stays between you and them. Trust is very important in the therapeutic relationship.
3. The therapist will judge you or think you are "crazy"
Therapists will provide a safe and non-judgemental space for you to share your story. They will not judge you or think you’re crazy. They are there to help you and empower you.
4. “I don’t need therapy because I have my friends and family”
While many people believe they don’t need therapy because they have a great support system, that doesn’t always mean they don’t need therapy. As mentioned before, a therapist is there as a third person who has no bias in your situation. Friends and family may have their own opinions and biases towards your situation which may cause you to look a different way. Speaking to a therapist is a great way to work issues out on your own.
5. A therapist tells you what to do
While sometimes people may feel hopeless in their situation and are looking for an answer, the therapist will not tell you what to do. A therapist will act as a guide and empower you to find the answers to your situation within yourself. You can talk openly and work with them to find solutions to your problems.
While there are many misconceptions about therapy, these are some of the most common. It’s important to remember that everyone works through situations differently, but therapy is a great way to start.