‘Why Should I Pay Someone To Listen to Me?’: 5 Common Myths Of Going To Therapy

Flickr / João Lavinha
Flickr / João Lavinha

Therapy has made its way off the couch and into the mainstream. Members of the Kardashian family regularly bring viewers into their private sessions with counselors, broadcasting their private (possibly staged) issues to the world. This is quite a departure from the classic image of a man spewing his feelings at an apathetic old man in a chair. Despite more modern, mass publications of the therapeutic process, counseling still seems to have quite an image problem. Here are five common myths about therapy not even reality TV could crush:

1. Therapy is only for crazy people.

So maybe the Kardashians haven’t helped with this myth, but people go to counseling for so many reasons, like breaking up with their boyfriend, relationship issues, or being stressed at work. Avoiding therapy because of the stigma is just plain crazy.

2. I can’t afford therapy.

But you can afford four vodka sodas at the bar on Saturday. Uh huh, I believe you. The reality is, therapy is often covered by your insurance. Don’t have insurance? Don’t want to use your insurance? Many therapists offer rates based on a sliding scale (what you make correlates to what you pay) or offer discounted rates for students.

3. I can just talk to my friends about my problems.

Your friends really want you to get a therapist so they don’t have to listen to you anymore. Kidding, but what your friends do is entirely different from a trained, educated therapist. A therapist can ask you the right questions in order to promote insight and personal growth. Bonus: a therapy session is all about you – meaning the conversation won’t suddenly switch to what happened in Katie’s pilates class yesterday.

4. All therapists are the same.

False. There are a wide variety of therapeutic styles and personal fit can be extremely important. Research different types of therapy and find out what works for you. But, don’t reject your therapist after one session. Give yourselves some time to bond and get to know each other. If it still isn’t working, find a new therapist or ask for a referral. Counselors know the importance of personal fit and are extremely understanding about this.

5. Can’t I just get some pills?

Psychiatry and medications are important and effective for many people. Some problems just really cannot be fixed with medication. If you are fighting with your partner often and having communication issues, I’m not certain meds are the key to resolution. Talk therapy can help you get to the root of the problem.

Squash the the therapy rumors, because maybe you have all the answers. Maybe you just need someone to ask the right questions. TC mark

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