By Ernest Schmidt, LCSW
There are many myths that are associated with therapy, but the myths below often are the ones that stop people from seeking help that can lead to better, more satisfied lives. Are any of these myths holding you back?
Myth #1: Therapy is a lifelong pursuit
Many people mistakenly believe that therapy is something that you get into for life, that once you start you’re sucked into a drawn-out, soul-searching venture with no end in sight.
“There are short-term solutions that will provide significant relief.”
Although sadly, this still can be the case depending on the therapist you choose, there are short-term solutions (cognitive behavioral therapy) that will provide significant relief.
With the right type of therapy, often 10-20 sessions is all you need to get back on track, regardless of whether you’re struggling from anxiety, nervousness, concentration difficulties, low motivation, feelings of sadness or depression, and even obsessive compulsive disorder. Even if you’re not sure exactly what’s bothering you, a good therapist can guide you toward identifying your problem areas so you can start moving past them.
Myth #2: Therapy doesn’t work
“CBT is considered to be one of the top approaches in the field of mental health.”
Although countless studies have shown that therapy is effective for many emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems, this myth continues to live on. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT has been so well researched that it is considered to be one of the top approaches in the field of mental health. Some studies have even show that this method is more effective than medication when compared over time!
This interactive and structured therapy allows you and your therapist to work closely together to determine the right course of action. Your therapist will help you uncover specific concerns or problem areas, set appropriate goals, and monitor your progress so you can see how much your situation has improved. Your therapist will also assign homework for you to complete on your own, allowing you to take an active role in your recovery.
With this specific form of therapy, gone are the days of lying on a black couch and rambling aimlessly about how your childhood woes have kept you from true happiness, all while your therapist offers little to no interaction. In cognitive behavioral therapy, your therapist works along side you and is not just an observer. While you’re searching for the right fit, ask prospective therapists about what type of therapy they practice.
Myth #3: Therapy is uncomfortable
This myth is somewhat founded in truth, if only because we humans naturally find revealing and discussing our emotions difficult, but the important thing to keep in mind is that the right therapist can help guide you through the discomfort. Effective therapists will not just stare blankly at you while you guess what you are supposed to do in the meetings. Instead, the process and structure will be clearly explained so you have a good sense of what to expect and how to use the sessions. Their primary goal is to help you work through your problems and reach levels of comfort and satisfaction in your life.
In fact, the most helpful of therapists are often the ones that are not only knowledgeable, but down-to-earth and friendly. If you visit a therapist you don’t feel comfortable with or is not very active in the meetings, keep searching. The right match is out there!
The worst thing to do is to let these long standing misconceptions about therapy keep you from seeking help. A little short-term work on your part by researching and finding a good therapist can lead to long-term peace of mind…and isn’t that worth the effort?
Contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 650-461-9026