Picture a typical therapy session in your mind. It’s likely that you’re thinking of the client laying on a couch, sharing their deepest concerns and secrets with a therapist who’s taking furious notes. Here’s the thing—therapy is nothing like this. In fact, it’s a major misconception about therapy. If you’ve never tried therapy before, your knowledge about therapy is likely based on what you hear from friends or loved ones, or what you see on TV. Read more inside information from the therapists themselves, as they disprove myths about the therapy couch.
In your opinion, what do most people think about therapy before trying it?
Kendra: “Unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation out there about therapy; many people make assumptions about what it will be like before they try it. There’s a lack of awareness about what the process entails. Some people might think it’s taboo or that if you go to therapy, something is wrong with you. Others think that therapy is a ‘quick fix’ to their problems. The truth is that it takes time to modify long-established behaviors. It doesn’t happen overnight, but change is certainly possible.”
Dana K.: “Many people think that they’re going to lay down on a couch and talk about their childhood. People might assume that the therapist knows things about them that they don’t know, or that the therapist is analyzing everything they say, when that’s not the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. We’re on your side; we’re here to support you and help you better yourself.”
Brittany: “People are fearful of speaking to essentially a stranger, and having to share or unpack uncomfortable memories that might be embarrassing. It’s understandable to be uncomfortable or nervous at first, especially if it’s something that someone has never tried before. However the therapist is there to make the client feel comfortable and establish a connection. That way, you can feel at ease talking to someone about your problems and work together to find a solution.”
Danna: “Most people think that therapy is only for people who are severely mentally ill. They mistakenly think that therapy is only necessary for a select few, when in reality, therapy is beneficial for everyone. It’s a unique place where you can bounce ideas and situations around with someone who is trained to be impartial and nonjudgmental. Having an outlet to express yourself without fear of being judged is a valuable for everyone.”
Tessa: “There’s a stigma associated with therapy. People might think that “if I go to therapy, that means something’s wrong with me, or that I’m crazy.” They could be afraid that going to therapy makes their problems reality—that something really is wrong if they need to start therapy. Therapy is a great opportunity to address your problems, your concerns, or emotional baggage that you carry. But it certainly doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Everybody deals with their own struggles, and all people could gain from therapy.”
It’s evident that there are various misconceptions about therapy. Many people make assumptions about therapy that may not be accurate. Luckily, it does not involve laying on a couch and talking about your childhood. Hopefully you will agree that therapy is not as daunting as it seems. It’s something that all people should consider; it’s a great way to make a change for the better.