There are a lot of stigma that surround therapy. For every success story, I’m sure you’ve heard a dozen not so pleasant experiences. I recognize that counseling can come with some preconceived notions about what to expect from therapy. I have included 6 misconceptions about therapy I often hear and hope you find them useful as you begin your journey.
1: Therapy will last forever
At Cache Valley Counseling, most of our clients come an average about 4 months. Making changes takes time but does not take forever. At CVC we come alongside our clients to help foster the changes they want to make, and usually this can be done in a shorter amount of time.
2: I’m not “crazy” or broken enough
Many people assume they have to suffer from a severe mental health issue or their relationship has to be on the brink of divorce. However, people without severe mental health diagnoses visit us every day at CVC. Regular folks, just like yourself are coming in to help sort out the stressful events that they are dealing with.
3: All therapists are the same and the last one I had was terrible. This won’t really work.
Has every physician you have seen been the same? What about restaurant, hotel, or resort? Absolutely not. We are individual people who all have different experiences that make us unique. One therapist’s style is not going to match that of another therapist. Some therapists offer more psychoeducation and focus on life skills or things to do behaviorally to improve. At CVC we have an eclectic approach and use the theories and methods in which are best suited to your learning style.
4: I don’t have time
But you do have time to be stressed out and/or depressed? Many people think that they don’t have time to squeeze in an appointment. However, how well are you really managing your life if you aren’t sorting out how to make it better? Yes, it may take a level of re-prioritizing commitments, but the benefits gained from getting your emotional/mental life in order are invaluable.
5: Rehashing the past
Going over and over the past can be a painful thing. It can also be an irrelevant thing. Good therapy isn’t about this rehashing; but sometimes the past includes experiences that our brains code as painful. In certain instances making short visits to the past helps our brains to rewire to a safer, less panicked or dangerous place. However, every session is not spent in the past but using your past to help navigate the present and future moments.
6: People who go to therapy are weak
This notion seems to be particularly prevalent in our region, I believe this is in large part due to the heritage of those who settled our mountainous home needing to “go it alone.” However, going to therapy is about growth and change and that can be hard and painful. People DON’T come to therapy because they are too weak. It takes courage and hope to engage in the therapeutic process. You (and your partner) are courageous for starting this journey of self-discovery and growth. And that proposition is not for the faint of heart or the weak.
The very fact you are searching out, reading this blog, or considering counseling can be a very challenging and courageous first step. If any of these myths resonate with you, or you have your own, reach out and chat with one of our therapists and see if counseling is appropriate for you.