Therapy and Mental Health: Common Myths
Going to therapy is one of the most helpful things that people can do for the benefit of their mental health. There are several different kinds of therapy that might be used depending on the disorder that is being treated, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Family Therapy. The type of therapy used varies, depending on an individual’s needs. People might avoid therapy for a variety of misconceptions of the practice, which is why it’s important to understand why therapy works.
Myth #1: Therapy is just common knowledge.
People might think that therapy isn’t necessary, especially if they believe that the therapist will just rehash common knowledge and tell them things that they already know. However, therapists are good educators and they will give you advice based on your unique situation and diagnosis, as opposed to giving you generic advice that might not apply to your situation or diagnosis.
Myth #2: Therapy is unnecessary when you have social support.
While strong social support is important for anyone’s mental well-being, it is not a suitable substitute for therapy, especially for more severe mental health disorders. Therapists are people who have spent several years learning how to help people from different situations. Family and friends have a different kind of relationship with you than your therapist would. One of the most important parts of therapy is that it is confidential, so you don’t have to worry about censoring yourself, as you might with family and friends due to fear of judgement.
Myth #3: Therapy is only for those with very serious mental health disorders.
Therapy is helpful for people from all walks of life, whether you have serious mental health conditions or would just like to talk to someone confidentially to check in on your own mental health. This belief causes people to wait several years before they seek help for their issues, which can make the issue harder to remedy, because it hasn’t been addressed in so long. The earlier a mental health issue is identified and treated, the better the prognosis for that individual.
Myth #4: Therapists have experienced the same mental health disorders as their patients.
Due to some health approaches, people might think that in order to be helpful, only therapists and people who have gone through their specific experiences are effective in patient treatment. This is usually not the case and usually any therapists can be helpful and understanding as a result of their training and expertise. However, if you feel that a certain kind of therapy or therapist is not working for you, then it is important to seek out alternatives and find treatments that are effective in treating you.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety, please feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help. Getting yourself help, whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals is an important part of recognizing that you are struggling and is a good step forward to get the help
that you need. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org or call 360.397.8246 for more information.