Debunking One of the Most Common Myths About Therapy

Are you struggling with depression? Anxiety? Related mental health issues?

Don’t worry if this is the case. These issues are relatively common, particularly among people living in big cities such as New York.

It’s also entirely possible to overcome them. Seeing a therapist is one of the most effective ways to do so. When you work with a therapist, you uncover the root causes of your problems. This makes it possible to begin addressing them.

That said, many people who would benefit from therapy don’t seek it out. Sometimes misconceptions are to blame. Thanks to pop culture and many other sources, people who have never been in therapy may not always understand what it actually involves. They avoid it because they don’t think they’ll benefit.

Falling prey to these misconceptions may stop you from getting the genuine help you need. Although there are many myths to address regarding therapy, one that’s especially crucial to debunk is the idea that seeking help from a therapist is a sign of weakness.

People who have never seen a therapist sometimes imagine mental health professionals spend every session reassuring clients they are wonderful people who don’t need to make any changes in their lives. Thus, they assume therapy is only for people who are too weak to solve their own problems, and need someone to tell them otherwise.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Although a good therapist will absolutely provide a client with emotional support, the end goal of therapy is to make substantial changes in a client’s life.

That means acknowledging there are certain factors they can’t change. A large part of therapy involves challenging someone to admit unpleasant but necessary truths.

For instance, maybe a client is struggling at work because they have a difficult supervisor who makes them feel worthless due to their innate lack of self-esteem. Perhaps this individual also feels they can’t justify finding another job.

A skilled therapist is not going to waste too much time telling them everything is okay because they are perfect. They’re also not going to pretend the client can magically wave a wand and change their supervisor’s personality. Instead they will focus on what they can change. That will likely involve forcing a client to learn they must take uncomfortable action or adjust their behaviors and/or mindset.

Maybe their own flawed thinking has convinced them they can’t quit their job; adjusting their thinking accordingly will be necessary if they want to escape from this unpleasant work environment. If they genuinely can’t find a job elsewhere right away, they will have to learn what they can do to cope in the current environment. That could involve confronting their supervisor, addressing the reasons they struggle with low self-esteem, learning to not let criticism hurt them, and more. 

The main point to keep in mind is that a productive therapy session (as well as an overall approach to treatment) does not involve constant reassurance that the client doesn’t have to make any changes in their life. On the contrary, therapists help clients identify where they can and must exercise control.

You also need to understand the practical function of therapy. Some people incorrectly believe therapy involves nothing more than vague discussions of their feelings. In reality, it’s about arriving at key insights and using those insights in practical ways to make necessary life changes. The client has to put what they learn in therapy into action. They’re not likely to be cured the moment a productive session ends. 

Let’s return to the example described earlier. Maybe the client and therapist agree the best way for them to resolve the issue at work is to confront their supervisor. There’s a good chance they might not feel entirely comfortable doing so. However, if they want their circumstances to improve, they may have to. A therapist will not lie to them and say the problem will go away on its own.

This is why the notion that undergoing therapy is a sign of weakness should never cross the mind of New Yorkers struggling with mental health problems. Devoting yourself to the hard work of uncovering deep-seated issues and taking action to address them is in fact a sign of tremendous strength.

That said, the best way to understand how therapy differs from common misconceptions is to experience it yourself. Get started by scheduling your initial consultation with Therapy24x7 today.

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