Cognitive therapy is one of the most powerful tools that we have for caring for and improving our mental health, yet studies show that a stigma still surrounds getting proper mental health treatment. Far too many of us misunderstand mental health in general, and therapy in particular, and this leads to far too many people failing to get the treatment that they need and deserve.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major myths about therapy, and let’s fight back with facts.
Therapy is just for people with serious mental health conditions
Therapy is a mental health treatment, but far too many of us assume that a person needs to be suffering tremendously to benefit from therapy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mental health is a spectrum, and far more of us are suffering from some degree of mental health condition than we may realize. Anxiety disorders are incredibly common, as are depression and addiction. So much so, you may not even realize that you’re dealing with such an issue.
Even if you’re not dealing with any kind of mental health issue, you can still benefit from therapy. Therapy is about understanding our own thoughts and thought patterns. It gives us strategies for dealing with difficulties and stresses. It can help you with everything from being a better romantic partner to succeeding in a big, stressful city like New York, explain the experts at Therapy Group of NYC. In short, if you’re living any kind of life in this world of ours, you can probably from therapy.
You don’t need a therapist if you have friends
One of the most toxic myths about therapy is that it is in some way a substitute for friends. If you have close friends, the “logic” here is that you should be able to turn to them for support — no therapist required.
But this fundamentally misunderstands the role of a therapist — and, to some degree, misunderstands the role of friends. A therapist is a trained mental health professional. When you see a therapist, they’re going to be more than just a sympathetic ear. Therapists work collaboratively with you to help you understand your own thoughts and thought patterns. Together, you’ll explore your situation and try out proven strategies that may help you curb negative thinking, build stronger relationships, and more.
On the flip side, your friends are not your therapists. Of course you can confide in close friends, but you should not expect your friends to help you talk through everything that upsets you or to help you understand your own mind. Asking a friend to serve as a therapist puts an unfair emotional burden on them. Let a therapist be your therapist, so that your friends can be your friends.
There’s no science backing therapy
To some, therapy feels like new-age mumbo-jumbo. These people have clearly never experienced nor benefitted from therapy. The reality, of course, is that therapists are highly trained and very interested in what actually works. No pseudoscience is involved: Therapy is about what works.
We’re still learning more about mental health, of course, but therapists have access to the latest and greatest studies and writings on the subject. When you work with a therapist to find strategies that work for you, your therapist will have suggestions to offer that are backed by real science and lived experience.
Therapy, in short, works. Therapy is real. So shake off the myths, and seek out help from a professional in your local area.Updated Date: 12 May 2019, 08:11