I had a pretty tough therapy session this week because I just have a lot going on right now. Afterwards, I was emotionally drained and just totally exhausted. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. One of my friends asked me why I kept going to therapy if it made me feel that way. I explained that therapy is a process and not every session is rainbows and butterflies. She didn’t understand, but then again, she’s never been in therapy.
It got me thinking about the misconceptions that people still have about therapy and mental health. Since it’s Mental Health Month, I figured it was a good time to debunk some myths about therapy. It’s not for “crazy” people, and it’s not some made up thing. Therapy helps millions of people, and we need to stop acting like it’s taboo. If you’re in therapy, great! If not, that’s great too!
Check out these therapy myths you need to stop believing right now:
Myth: Therapy Works Instantly
Unfortunately, therapy isn't an instant fix for whatever you're dealing with. You might need a lot of sessions to work through things, but you also don't have to be in therapy forever. When I was in therapy for post traumatic stress disorder, I had to go to therapy for months before I started feeling okay. But another time I was in therapy, I only had to go to a few sessions. It honestly depends on what you're working through and the kind of therapy you're doing.
Myth: You Don't Need Therapy When You Can Talk To Your Friends For Free
Obviously, you can talk to your friends for free. However, your friends are not trained professionals, and you might not be comfortable sharing certain things with your friends. A therapist can offer an unbiased opinion, which your friends cannot do.
Myth: Therapy Is Only For People With Mental Illness
You do not have to have a mental illness to be in therapy. There are tons of people in therapy who don't suffer from mental illnesses or who aren't even at risk for mental illnesses. Therapy is for everyone!
Myth: Therapy Will Make You Worse
Maybe some people have had this experience if they've encountered a bad therapist, but I rarely hear people in therapy talking about therapy making their problems worse. I will say that it can take some time for find a therapist that you mesh with, which is okay. You might not feel better immediately because therapy takes time, but that doesn't mean your sessions are making you worse.
Myth: Therapy Is A Joke
Believe it or not, psychology is a real science, and therapy isn't some made up thing. Therapy is really helpful, but it is not for everyone. That's okay. If you don't like therapy, you don't have to go. But it isn't a joke.
Myth: Therapists Are Pill-Pushers
Some therapists may recommend medication, but many don't. Medication can be very helpful, but not everyone wants to be on it, and most therapists get that. If you're worried about a therapist trying to put you on medication, do some research to find a therapist that focuses on behavioral therapy. You can also discuss other options with your therapist if they suggest medication. Just because they tell you that you need medication doesn't mean you have to agree. You can always look at other options first.
Myth: Therapy Is Too Expensive
Therapy does cost money, and some therapists are more expensive than others. But many insurance providers have mental health coverage. Some therapists don't take insurance, but you can simply submit a claim to your insurance provider and get a refund. Many therapists can also work with you and come up with a payment plan that works for both of you.
Did you believe any of these myths? Have you heard any other therapy myths? Tell us in the comments!