Busting Common Therapy Myths

If you’ve ever considered starting therapy, you’ve probably caught yourself having second thoughts. It can be difficult to make the decision to start seeing a therapist, especially when you’ve never done it before. Here are some common myths about therapy and the facts to bust them. 

Myth 1: No therapist can understand what I’m going through

It is impossible to find a therapist with the exact life experience as you. While a therapist may not have lived through your exact situation, they are trained to respond with empathy, non-judgment, and support. Therapists should also have cultural competency training which prepares them to speak with people who come from different cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. If there is lived experience you prefer your therapist to have (such as race, Veteran status, being a parent, etc.) it is appropriate to ask them about this in your consultation or first appointment. While you may be different from your therapist, it is likely that they have also had to overcome hardship in their life. Many therapists chose their careers after experiencing difficult situations themselves. 

Myth 2: Therapy is just talking

You already have friends to vent to, why pay for therapy? Talking to your friends and family about hard decisions or experiences can be extremely helpful. However, there are skills and tools that therapists have that make them helpful in different ways. For example, many therapists provide clients with coping skills they can use to cope with current and future struggles. Additionally, therapists are trained in high-level techniques that allow for deeper processing, thought challenging, and active listening. Therapists are also more likely to have a non-biased ear when it comes to personal decisions or social conflict. 

Myth 3: Therapy won’t work for me

There is a therapist and a treatment for everyone. While it may take time to find the right fit, there is always someone out there who can help. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions to find your fit. Here are some tips to find the right therapist. Additionally, many different therapeutic techniques have been scientifically proven to work across different patient populations. Check out some interesting research statistics on the impacts of therapy here

Myth 4: Therapy is unaffordable

While access to affordable therapy varies, there are many ongoing efforts to make therapy more affordable. While looking for a therapist, look for someone who takes your health insurance or ask them about their sliding scale options. There are also platforms like OpenPath.com that are dedicated to affordable therapy options. At the end of the day, paying for therapy is an investment in your long-term health, and you’re worth the cost! 

Myth 5: I’m not unwell enough to start therapy

While we don’t all struggle with mental illness, we all have mental health to take care of! No matter what level of mental distress you’re experiencing, you deserve to take care of yourself. Therapy is often used as a preventative healthcare measure, like having an annual physical or eating well. Taking care of your mental health before a crisis improves your all-around health and wellness.

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