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myths about therapy debunked

10 Myths About Therapy Debunked

Written by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT

Last updated:

Thankfully, in recent years therapy has become less taboo and criticized.

With social media influencers and celebrities sharing their own success with therapy, it’s allowed more people to understand the true facts about therapy.

Now with that being said, there are still a significant amount of people who have misconceptions about therapy.

Today we’re going to debunk the myths about therapy for those still unsure of its benefits!

1. Myth: Only crazy people go to therapy.

Truth: Most clients are ordinary, everyday people with typical problems.

Things like the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or a relationship rut are common issues addressed in therapy.

Most people will go through difficult times, and therapy will help the person(s) involved to gain better insight into their issue.

2. Myth: Only Couples On The Verge of Breaking Up Go To Therapy.

Truth: Some couples find it helpful to have regular relationship check-ups to ensure things are working properly in their relationship.

This is a big one when it comes to myths about therapy!

The rt some of the happiest couples you know may be in and out of therapy.

A lot of the work we love to do as therapists is to take preventative measures to help individuals work together efficiently and successfully for their long-term relationships.

These types of sessions are meant to strengthen couples that are currently in a good place and hope to remain there by addressing small issues that have the potential to grow if left untreated.

3. Myth: Once You Start Therapy, You Are In It For Life.

Truth: Some people come for three sessions, and others come for three years, but one thing is for sure- the client determines the length of therapy, not the therapist.

Sure, some people choose to stay in therapy long-term, but that is because it makes them feel good when they make positive changes in their lives! 

Remember, therapy is a choice that can put you on the path to a greater understanding of yourself as an individual and can help you feel more fulfilled.

4. Myth: Couples Therapy Will Only Make Your Relationship Worse.

 Truth: When a couple seeks treatment, a therapist sees two possible end results for them – staying together or amicably separating. But the clients are the ones who make that decision.

If both partners want to better their relationship, then the end goal is obvious and the work done in therapy will help alleviate some of the current issues they face.

It will also allow things to be brought up in a safe space and at a time when both people are ready to address whatever issues (known or unknown) are plaguing them.

5. Myth: In Couples Therapy, Therapists Side With The Partner Who Acts Like The Victim.

Truth: This is a common misconception that is absolutely untrue. Every therapist understands that nothing happens in a vacuum- each partner plays an equal role in every issue.

So when one person is blaming the other, we do our best to help both partners see how they are contributing to the problem, and that no one person is ever completely at fault.

6. Myth: I Should Be Able To Manage My Own Issues.

Truth: You’d see a doctor if you were physically sick- therapy works the same way!

Think about when you are feeling ill: you start to sense the sickness coming on and you make a choice to either see a doctor or wait out the illness and see if it goes away naturally.

Sometimes that works and sometimes the sickness becomes debilitating and in extreme cases, degenerative.

Mental health follows the same pattern.

Unfortunately, the problem you come to therapy with may be so far gone that by the time you seek treatment, there is not much we can do to salvage it (especially with couples who wait too long to get help).

Therefore, consider coming seeking out a therapist before the problem gets to be unmanageable.

And remember, early recognition of a problem leads to a shorter mean time to resolution and that equates to less time actually spent in therapy, because it is much easier to treat a problem at the beginning stages.

7. Myth: Why Go To Therapy When I Can Just Take Medication?

Truth: Therapy will help with the issue long-term.

Antidepressants and Anti-anxiety medications are very helpful in managing emotions.

At their conception, drug therapies were meant to be used in tandem with talk therapy.

The idea behind this was that the drugs would alleviate the immediate issue, while therapy would help in the long term.

This would allow individuals to eventually stop needing to depend on their medications for emotional well-being.

Unfortunately, we have lost sight of how these therapies were meant to help one another, and instead, rely on the quick-fix medications offer without ever addressing our concerns.

This has led many of us to be over-medicated, and our core issues are unresolved.

Therefore, talk therapy should be used with medications, or as a holistic replacement for drug therapy.

8. Myth: Therapy Will Make You Feel Blamed and Shamed.

Truth: Your therapy sessions are meant for you to feel that you’re in a SAFE space.

The media portrays therapists as intense and controlling (i.e. Dr. Phil), blaming their clients for their troubles.

But this is simply not true of real-life therapy.

The best therapists are compassionate and understanding and will empower you to make your own decisions, whatever they may be, and at your own pace.

9. Myth: Therapy Is Like Having A Paid Best Friend- So Why Pay?

Truth: Therapists are licensed and trained professionals who offer an objective listening ear.

Friends are passionate, sympathetic, and care deeply about their friends.

But the fact that they are too close to the issue can cloud their judgment.

Friends often have motives and opinions that can cause you to make a decision you may regret.

Therapists, on the other hand, have years of training, expertise, and experience.

They care for their clients but can offer so much more than a friend can, and without bias.

Also, it is much easier to tell someone your deepest, darkest secrets when you have a signed confidentiality agreement.

10. Myth: Digging Up The Past Won’t Be helpful.

Truth: Looking to the past can help you understand yourself on a much deeper level and keep you from making past mistakes.

Addressing complicated things you have lived through can, of course, be difficult.

But doing so can allow you to see events differently and with a better understanding.

This will ultimately give you insight into why you make decisions now based on past events.

Written by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT

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