Myths About Psychotherapy

Busted in Public Interest

 

Therapy is endless. Once you start, you will life long depend on it for every small problem in your life.

There are various forms and types of psychotherapy. The time frame varies accordingly and is dependent on factors such as:

Issues that need to be addressed and worked on. Some individuals are going through deep unprocessed trauma or complex challenges which may require some months to years too. Others may not take such a long time to work on their problems. 

Client's individual choice and commitments matter a lot. If a client can and wants to invest more time in therapeutic work and self healing then, the therapy can go on for long. 

Your therapist's approach i.e, some therapists do a lot of brief therapeutic work or may pick a few techniques from long term therapy processes to aid effective treatment. Whereas, others might prefer to or be trained in some of the traditional long term therapeutic approaches. 

Therapy is exclusively for people with mental illness or disorder.

This is one of the biggest myth that causes a taboo around psychotherapy. Therapy is a process which can be pro-actively used to improve a wide range of issues ranging from severe mental illness to any stressor that is lowering a person's enjoyment, peace of mind and/or impairing their ability to function adequately. 
Depending on the issue, therapy can be a process on its own or if more support is needed, occur alongside other types of treatment modalities such as medication, support groups, group therapy etc.  

Regardless of the issues, it can be helpful to think of therapy as a tool that supports individuals in working towards greater well being and mental health. 

The relationship that you form or develop with your therapist is very different from all the other relationships in your life. It is not reciprocal or "two-way street". Your therapist will set boundaries for the therapeutic alliance and the focus will always be YOU and YOUR GOALS.

Talking to a friend or a family member would be just as effective and yield similar results.

Your therapist will tell you exactly what to do and will give you solutions.

A therapist is a trained professional who will only facilitate your process of healing and growth. S/he will refrain from giving you solutions, overt instructions and/or advice.

You will find the right therapist (for you) first time around.

As the famous American existential psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom puts it "It is the relationship that heals." If you do not feel comfortable or satisfied with your therapist, then it is best to try other clinicians/therapists. But, one should not be hasty and know that like all other relationships in life, a therapeutic alliance and rapport building may take time. A good check can be to evaluate your goals after every 3 sessions with your therapist.

The above mentioned statements are just some of the many myths or wrong notions about the process of therapy. Let's all become more aware, mindful and spread the correct awareness about Mental health and wellbeing together. 

For more questions/queries/doubts, feel free to drop a message with an appropriate subject.