5 Myths About Psychotherapy
There are many misconceptions about mental health and many wrong convictions about therapy.
Myths about psychotherapy are as big as a myth about a drag queen who didn’t open her mouth while she was putting eyeliner on – Dan Trepanier
Some people do not make a difference between therapist and psychiatrist. Some believe how therapy is a friendship where you can open up your heart and ease your pain. I have also heard a lot of people claiming how psychotherapy is just the waste of money and time.
It is time to deconstruct the 5 most common myths about psychotherapy.
1) The talk with your therapist is a friendly talk; you can cry like Kim K and go home with the feeling of big relief.
You seek understanding like it is not something you can do for yourself. Sure, your psychologist is there to listen without judgment, but that’s not his only purpose. Professional sessions include the use of questions and techniques. Therapy offers guidance. So, you are not only getting empathy and unconditional support from your therapist but also pragmatic advice that will help you overcome your difficulties.
2) Going to therapy means you are a passive participant in the sessions.
It is not enough to just show up. You need to be engaged. If you want to get to the core of your problem, you will have to develop efficient strategies. Your therapist is your teacher. He therapist is also there to motivate you. Your therapist is your personal trainer. Your brain and your heart are on a mental cross fit.
3) A psychologist can change your personality.
I am sick of growing as a person. Maybe my therapist can change me as a person. People usually believe how going through psychotherapy means changing who you are. Breaking news: that is not possible because our personality is genetically determined. What is possible is to change dysfunctional behaviors. For example, If you are drinking excessively to get over the fact that you still didn’t come out of the closet, that doesn’t mean you will become heterosexual after the therapy. The goal of the therapy is to make you feel ok with being gay and to help you treat your substance abuse.
4) If I am taking antidepressants, I don’t have to go to therapy because the treatment does not have any point.
Wrong. Psychotherapy helps you both with life problems (communication problems, love problems, decision-making problems, etc.), and mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Most of these disorders can be ‘’cured’’ with cognitive behavioral therapy, without any medical treatment. If you are already taking antidepressants, it is recommended that you also go to therapy. Medications can not change your negative thoughts and behaviors, and those are the main factors of your depression.
5) Therapy sessions include archeological research of your past.
When psychoanalysis was dominant therapy, patient’s past was crucial for explanation of current problems. Modern psychotherapeutic approaches are primarily oriented towards present. They are not ignoring events from the past. Their ultimate goal is to register wrong mechanisms and replace them with new ones. They are coming from the future to tell you that you will overcome your obstacles.
In the end, let’s just say that you and your therapist are building a bridge between the present and the future. Happiness is just the matter of seizing the right moment to do something in the right way.