Updated: Jan 14
“Debunking” Common Myths That Prevent You From Finding A Therapist Right For You.
When it comes to therapy, misconceptions are no stranger. We believe so much of what we see and hear from social media, television, news and influencers - but when it comes to therapy, many people shake off the positive messages about what it can do for them, how it can help and the many benefits it provides. Our mental and physical health is more important than ever, yet going to the gym is looked at as much easier than investing time and energy into a therapist who can provide us with tools to be just as strong and healthy mentally, emotionally and physically. We figured it’s a perfect time to debunk some of the common misconceptions that may be preventing you (and many others) from taking the first step to finding a therapist.
“I don't need therapy, I have great friends”
Good friends and family are a vital part of our health and wellness. But having a non-biased objective point of view can often bring a more clear perspective and help you determine where some of your own “issues” may be clouding your perception. Therapy is different from talking to family and friends. A therapist is an experienced, educated, certified clinician that will utilize skills and teach techniques to help you cope with what you’re experiencing and give you tools to be able to cope in everyday life.
“My problems aren’t bad enough to see a therapist”
Regardless of how serious someone feels their problems or challenges are, they can always benefit from therapy. We tend to think our problems aren’t that bad so there’s no need for intervention. We see others that may be going through trauma, which may make it seem that we should handle our anxiety and relationship issues on our own. This is not the case. Everyone’s troubles are troubling for them in different ways. Some are more serious than others. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you have serious problems. It just means you are talking honestly and openly to a professional who can help you sort through your emotions.
There is no trauma threshold for qualifying for therapy.
“Men don't go to therapy”
While it is true men typically do not have many acceptable outlets to express themselves it is categorically false that men don't go to therapy. “Right now about 70% of my caseload is adult men looking for support. Most are successful, however are seeking support for something they have tried to tackle themselves unsuccessfully.” - Gordon
Many people, mostly men, still have this image of Tony Soprano sitting in a chair at therapy feeling angry, spilling his secrets and blubbering about his mother. The truth is, men can benefit from therapy tremendously and at the same time build confidence and self-worth. Therapy is confidential and a safe place for everyone. We have broken down social barriers when it comes to so many things, but the stigma of men in therapy is still mainstream enough that men would rather struggle than take care of their health.
“I talked with a therapist once and it didn't help”
Well yes, and many of us have seen doctors we didn’t like either. This is why finding the right therapist is so important when it comes to a successful therapist-patient relationship. Just like a doctor or personal trainer may not seem like a good fit after one appointment, it can happen with therapists as well. But we don’t stop going to doctors altogether. We find the right one. You may have tried therapy at a time in your life that wasn’t ideal or it was so long ago you can’t compare to how it may help you today. The benefits of therapy, both short term and long term, largely outweigh the time it may take to find the right therapist.
“I don’t have time to go to therapy”
Do we really have time for ANYthing these days? We must MAKE time for the things that are crucial to our physical and mental health. We make time for the gym, social outings, school events, however when it comes to therapy there is a big misconception that our mental health isn’t worth the little time that we do have. Luckily teletherapy (online or virtual therapy) provides accessible, affordable and quality online counseling services at the comfort of your own home. A convenient and safe alternative to in-person therapy.. Did you know that teletherapy has just as many positive outcomes and benefits as in-person does?
“If you don’t make time for wellness, you’ll have to make time for illness”.
While there will always be myths and preconceived notions about going to therapy, our job as clinicians is to promote the benefits and break the stigma. Our society has made tremendous strides in promoting unbiased opinions and breaking down social barriers. Let's put more focus on the benefits of therapy for all types of people, in all stages of life. Let’s open up the possibilities for positive experiences. If you or someone you know has been thinking about therapy and has avoided it because of any of the above misconceptions, now is the time to make the appointment and see for yourself.