Debunking Common Myths About Therapy
As you may have noticed, the topic of mental health has gained momentum over the past few years, with commercials featuring celebrities such as Kristen Bell and Michael Phelps, and workplace initiatives at companies like Google and Starbucks. When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, whether it’s seeking treatment for anxiety or working on your own personal growth, one of the most effective and transformative tools is therapy. However, despite its increasing popularity, the idea of therapy can still carry many false preconceptions and negative stereotypes that keep people from seeking the help they truly deserve.
Three Common Myths
To help overcome some of the most common myths surrounding therapy, we’ve asked a few of our experts what people most often get wrong when making assumptions, and to share their insights on what someone can expect when starting therapy.
- Talking to a therapist is not a sign of weakness.
- Allow for a therapy “trial period”.
- Therapy is not an “instant fix”.
1. Talking to a therapist is not a sign of weakness.
It’s easy to see why the idea of talking with someone you’ve never met about your dreams, fears or biggest challenges could be daunting. But rather than see this as a negative, Koren Anderson, MA LPC, from our Lancaster office, encourages individuals to see the power in choosing to ask for help. She says, “It shows that you’ve been able to reflect, recognize what you’re doing isn’t working, and ask for assistance. Asking for help is a reflection of your strength and commitment to yourself to not give up.”
2. Allow for a trial period.
Like many things in life, finding the right fit can take time. Most therapists encourage you to give it at least three to four sessions before making a decision, and try not to make snap judgements right away. CSG Clinical Psychologist, John Spychalski, M.Ed, says clients should “sense ‘a good match’ when they meet a therapist.” And adds you shouldn’t feel rushed into feeling vulnerable. “A good therapist should help you feel safe – until you are ready to be vulnerable.”
3. Therapy is not an instant fix.
Similarly to giving the relationship with your therapist some time to develop, it’s equally important to understand that a therapist will not simply “fix” your problems or tell you what to do. “We’re there to help you gain a better understanding of what you need and who you are so that you can come to conclusions on your own,” says Colleen Madrigale, LCSW. Especially when it comes to more serious topics like self-harm or suicide, many people are afraid that a therapist will immediately hospitalize you. “Most therapists want to use the least restrictive means to keep you safe. If we can help you avoid going to the hospital, we want to do that first.”
Step one is the most important.
If you or someone you care about is thinking of starting therapy, CSG can help. Take the first step by getting the right information you need from a member of our team. We will make sure your questions are answered and help get you started in the process of finding the best fit for you. Remember to be patient and keep an open mind, especially during the first few sessions, and in the end, you will find you have a coach, a cheerleader, and an accountability partner, all in one.
Contact us today to learn more at (877) 907-7970.