Most of what we know of psychotherapy or counseling comes from television or assumptions that result in misconceptions. Very often these myths prevent us from seeking assistance when we need it the most.
In a bid to help you understand the process and use of psychology, we will bust a few of the common myths or reservations you may have about seeking psychotherapy.
Myth 1: Only crazy people need psychotherapy
Reality: Although people who have mental illnesses do need psychotherapy and often medication, the large majority of people who could benefit from therapy are people dealing with ordinary, everyday problems. Psychotherapy helps you gain new perspective or insight into your behavior as well as the situation at hand and helps you learn new coping mechanisms to deal with various life events. In addition, it equips you to use these newly acquired coping mechanisms, to be employed with problems in the future.
Myth 2: I have family and friends to talk to, I don’t need to talk to a psychologist.
Reality: Although sharing problems with family and friends is a good way to vent and get some much-needed support, friends and family often lack the objectivity that a trained psychologist can provide. Psychologists are trained to observe and analyse your background, coping mechanisms that have been used in the past and look for patterns and strengths that you may not have been aware of. Together, the two of you work toward solving difficulties – through discussion, activities and even homework to develop skill sets that will help you along the way.
Myth 3: Only weak people seek psychological help.
Reality: Seeking help is sometimes equated with weakness and often people, especially men, believe they can handle it themselves and do not need to seek professional help.
However, admitting you need help is a sign of strength rather than weakness. It takes a lot of courage to commit to change and to admit that things have not worked in the best possible way and make an effort to learn a new way of dealing with challenges. Hence, there is no shame in seeking help – in fact, it is absolutely required. Just as you would visit a doctor if you have a physical difficulty, or visit a dentist when you have a toothache, when you are in emotional distress, you visit a psychologist.
Myth 4: Psychotherapy will last many years.
Reality: Sometimes, psychotherapy can take a while. However, the duration of therapy depends on the nature of the problem and the therapy technique that needs to be employed. A few sessions are all it takes to see significant improvement or gain insight.
Myth 5: There’s nothing you can do about the past anyway so why go to a psychotherapist and drudge up the past?
Reality: Our past interactions and upbringing have an effect on the choices we make and the relationships we tend to have. Psychotherapy helps you come to terms with how these patterns have been established. Therapy is not about forgetting the past and moving on or having the ability to change the past. On the contrary, therapists help you visit the past and resolve the issues that have affected your present.
Myth 6: The psychologist will give me advice on what to do and is going to fix me.
Reality: Psychotherapy is an active process and involves participation. The effectiveness of psychotherapy rests with your active participation and your involvement. You are the expert on yourself and hence the best solutions and insights will come from you, while the psychologist will guide and direct you through the process. This also ensures that you are not dependent on therapy or the therapist and will be able to employ these new finds in your life.
If you are looking for a psychologist in Pune or if you want to know more about psychotherapy, Nanihi Center can be of assistance.
To know more about our therapies and services, please click here.