Far too often, misconceptions about counseling and therapy hold people back from taking a step that can improve their mental, physical, and emotional health. False impressions, myths, and misunderstandings about counseling and therapy prevent people from getting help.
Today, we are calling out these misconceptions so you can get a better idea of what counseling and therapy are and how they can help.
6 Misconceptions (and Truths) About Counseling and Therapy
If you are thinking about getting counseling or therapy, do not let these misconceptions hold you back. Learn the truths about getting support and only then, decide if it is right for you.
#1) The Big Issue Myth
Myth: Counseling and therapy are for people who have serious issues.
The biggest misconception about counseling and therapy is that it is only for people who have serious mental health issues. Too often, people believe that you only go to therapy if you have a breakdown or major problem in your life.
Truth: Counseling and therapy are for anyone who wants to improve their life.
You don’t need to reach a breaking point to benefit from counseling and therapy. You go to the gym to work out your body. You go to therapy and counseling to work out your mind. It is true that there is often a trigger that makes people think it’s time to make a change (having interpersonal issues, going through a life change, and feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed are a few examples). But, anyone who wants to take a closer look at their life and identify ways to improve it can benefit from therapy or counseling.
#2) The Weakness Myth
Myth: Counseling and therapy are for people who are weak.
Another terrible misconception about counseling and therapy is that it is a sign that you are weak and can’t take care of your life on your own. Loving Life Today is on a mission to change this stigma because it’s the one that often holds people back most.
Truth: Counseling and therapy are for people who are strong.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It takes courage to put yourself out there and seek support. No one should ever feel weak for taking care of themselves.
#3) The Control Myth
Myth: Counseling and therapy will tell me exactly how to live my life.
This is a misconception that can both attract or repel people from therapy and counseling. It is the idea that a therapist or counselor will tell you exactly what steps to take in your life. Some people want this direction. They want to be told what to do. Others don’t like this and feel it takes them out of the driver’s seat of their lives. Either way, no one will tell you what to do during therapy and counseling.
Truth: Counseling and therapy will help you make decisions about how you want to live your life.
Therapy and counseling help you get the tools you need to make better decisions in your life. It does not tell you the exact steps to take. It will empower you to look critically at your life and determine what is working and what isn’t so you can make the best decisions for you.
#4) The Nod and Note Myth
Myth: Counselors and therapists just nod and take notes during a session.
Television and movies may have perpetuated the misconception that therapists and counselors just nod and take notes during their sessions. This situation may play out in Hollywood scenes, but it is not the reality.
Truth: Counselors and therapists are trained in different modalities that they use during sessions.
Counselors and therapists are there to listen and take notes, but they are also there to do so much more. They are trained in different modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, and humanistic therapies, that they use to guide their sessions. When thinking about seeking therapy or counseling, ask your provider what type of modality they will use and how it works so you understand what will happen during your sessions.
#5) The Endless Myth
Myth: Counselors and therapists will try to keep me in therapy forever.
Distrust in medical care can trickle over into mental health services and lead people to believe that therapists and counselors have the goal to keep them in treatment so they can continue to collect fees.
Truth: You control your counseling and therapy experience.
The goal of therapy and counseling isn’t to keep you constantly coming back for more. It is to help you get the tools you need to improve your life. If you find that you get those tools sooner rather than later, you make the call. If you find regular therapy and counseling making a constant positive difference in your life, you can keep it up. While we recommend having at least three sessions to trigger change, you ultimately make the call.
#6) The Rich Myth
Myth: Counseling and therapy are only for rich people.
Another misconception about counseling and therapy that may be perpetuated by Hollywood is the idea that only rich people seek therapy. Many people believe therapy is so expensive that only people with a lot of disposable income can afford it. But, that is not the case.
Truth: Counseling and therapy are for everyone.
People participating in counseling and therapy have options when it comes to paying for treatment. In some cases, insurance will cover sessions. Offices may also offer payment plans or sliding fee scales (where you only pay what you can based on your income). Don’t let finances hold you back. There is always an option to help you get the help you need.
Discover More Truths About Counseling and Therapy
There are many misconceptions about counseling and therapy. Many of these myths are shaped by a lack of understanding and a lingering ant-therapy stigma. Don’t let these incorrect assumptions hold you back if you are considering seeking help.
Get the facts and consider the truths about counseling and therapy when deciding what is right for you.
For more information about what counseling and therapy look like, download our free information packet. Get more information along with a code for $25 off your first in-person or virtual session with Loving Life Today. Or, call us at 813-609-6946 if you have any other questions.