Don’t Believe These Common Misconceptions About Therapy

Seeing a therapist is something millions of people do every day. From helping with a diagnosed mental health disorder to talking through a breakup, people can benefit from therapy in different ways.

Unfortunately, many people believe misconceptions about therapy, and this prevents them from seeking the help they really need. So let’s take a look at a few common misconceptions about therapy and the truth behind them.

Therapy is only for people with diagnosed disorders

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about therapy is that you can only see a therapist if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. While therapy can be extremely helpful for people with diagnosed disorders, they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from it.

There are endless reasons to go to therapy. People going through big changes in life, people struggling to find healthy coping mechanisms for stress, and people who are simply looking to learn more about themselves can all benefit from therapy. You don’t need a diagnosis to see a therapist, and finding a therapist on can be beneficial for anyone.

Talking to friends is just as good as therapy

A common reason why many people don’t go to therapy is that they think talking about their problems with their friends is just as beneficial. Of course, it certainly helps to have a strong support system at home. But friends and family members are not trained or experienced professionals, and the experience is a different one.

Therapists go to school and receive the necessary training to provide the right kind of support. Additionally, therapists can listen and guide their patients with an unbiased point of view since they don’t know them on a personal level, which is important.

Once you start therapy, you can’t stop

Many people are fearful to start therapy because they think that once they start going, they’ll have to go for the rest of their life. But that isn’t the case at all. Some people do choose to see a therapist for years but others may go for a much shorter time.

The goal of therapy is to create a treatment plan so patients can process their trauma, learn coping mechanisms, or get through their breakup in a short amount of time. Patients will work with their therapist to set attainable goals and once they feel as though they’ve healed, they can stop seeing their therapist whenever they’d like.

Therapists tell their patients what to do

Contrary to popular belief, therapy does not consist of a patient telling their therapist their problems and the therapist simply tells them what to do. Instead, therapists listen to the patient talk and help guide them to a reasonable solution. Therapy is designed to encourage independence and inner strength, which doesn’t come from being told what to do.

Patients and therapists have a collaborative relationship: they work together to set goals. In doing this, patients can be nudged in the right direction but ultimately decide what to do for themselves.

Everyone who goes to therapy is put on medication

Another big common misconception about therapy is that if you go to see a therapist, they’ll immediately prescribe you medication. While medication can be helpful for people with diagnosed disorders, therapists aren’t focused on providing medicinal relief. Instead, therapy focuses on talking and listening.

There is a chance that a therapist might recommend seeing a psychiatrist (who will focus more on prescription medication) if they think there is an undiagnosed disorder, but that isn’t always the case. There are also different types of mental health professionals and not all are licensed to even write prescriptions.

Therapy isn’t as scary or as demanding as people often think. Seeing a therapist can help people find their way through both big and small problems and focus on their mental health in a safe and comfortable way.

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