4 Myths About Therapy
Mental health is an essential aspect of one’s overall well-being. Believing myths about therapy can further propitiate suffering and keep people from getting help. Having an open and honest dialogue about mental health helps destigmatize seeking professional help, and understanding the truths about therapy and debunking myths can help individuals make informed decisions about how to take care of their mental health.
Myth 1: I’m weak and failing in life if I need help from a therapist.
It takes courage and vulnerability to seek therapy and treatment. It is scary and uncomfortable to expose all of yourself—especially the parts you feel ashamed of—to someone and ask for help. It takes self-awareness and willingness to both accept and change yourself at the same time. A therapist’s role is to take a non-judgmental stance, so we will never judge you as “weak,” “wrong,” or “broken.” Committing to taking the steps to improve ones’ self is a sign of resilience.
Myth 2: Therapy is a magic solution to all of my problems.
Therapy isn’t a magic cure that instantly solves all your problems. Therapy is a process that takes time, effort, energy, and commitment. Living your life entails experiencing challenges, pain, hardships, and problems. A therapist’s role is not to tell you how to feel, what to do, or how to think. Therapy is a collaborative, often gradual, process between equals. Change varies depending on where each client is at. A therapist’s goal is to support their clients through hard times, help them build insight and awareness into their maladaptive behaviors, and provide space and skills to empower them to make effective decisions that will get them closer to their version of a life worth living based on their unique values, goals, and desires.
Myth 3: Therapy is only for individuals
While individual therapy is common—getting one-on-one support can be a powerful tool—therapy can also be conducted with couples, families, and groups. Couples and family therapy is helpful for developing insight into the patterns of behavior within the family system in order to shift to a more supportive, empathetic environment by developing communication and conflict resolution skills. Group therapy connects people with similar experiences and challenges, provides psychoeducational information to help clients learn and grow, and allows clients to process and garner support and validation from their peers’ lived experiences.
Myth 4: Only talking will help me.
Talk therapy is a common approach; however, it isn’t the only effective therapeutic modality. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and radically open dialectical behavioral therapy (RO-DBT) are all evidence-based modalities used at Skyland Trail. These modalities offer tangible skills to challenge one’s maladaptive thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Skyland Trail therapists are very skilled, creative clinicians who combine various techniques and interventions with their personal style to help provide clients with tools, strategies, and validation to live more fulfilling lives.
By Rebecca Price, LMSW, Skyland Trail DBT Primary Counselor