Therapy with a licensed professional is becoming more mainstream. Thanks to online therapy, millions more people are trying therapy for the first time.
There are, however, still some popular myths that often prevent people from going to therapy. As a licensed therapist who has helped clients move past these myths, I wanted to take some time to point them out and debunk them.
Myth #1: Therapy Is Only for People Who Desperately Need Help
Many people still have misunderstandings about who can benefit from talk therapy. At first glance it seems like therapy would only be for people with severe issues or mental illness.
Therapy is actually for anyone and everyone. Any person who wants to seek understanding or gain insights into their behaviors can benefit from therapy. Therapy is about improving mental health and becoming a better version of yourself. Anyone can do that!
Myth #2: Therapy Can’t Be Fun or Enjoyable
People can actually enjoy therapy! Many of my clients look forward to our time together and value our relationship deeply. Yes, we cry together at times, yet we also laugh. And I mean belly laughs.
The enjoyment from talking with a therapist who gets it, gets you and can help you to see alternatives makes a massive difference in the lives of many clients.
Myth #3: Therapy Is Like Paying for a Friend
Another common myth is around therapists vs. friends. Many people wonder why they would need a therapist when they can simply call a friend. This is a question I hear a lot.
It is important to have a strong social support system; friends are essential to your well-being. Your relationship with your therapist is different than the relationship you have with friends, though.
Clinicians have spent years training and studying treatment modalities to diagnose and assist their clients with emotional, relational and cognitive issues. Each session is devoted to you. It is all about you and it is all confidential, so you can really let it all hang out.
We are bound by laws and a code of ethics to keep your stuff safe. We do so because we love our profession and want to see you grow and be the best version of yourself.
Myth #4: Therapy Is Too Expensive
Another myth is that therapy is too expensive. Sure, there are clinicians who only see private pay clients, but they often hold several sliding scale slots for clients who need a financial break.
Other clinicians balance their caseload by taking insurance. In this case, you pay your copay at the time of your visit. Many of the clients I see have copays as low as $15 a session.
There are also therapists in training. Marriage and Family Therapy Interns are master-level clinicians who have completed at least 500 hours of clinical work. This group is also supervised by a therapist who has been licensed for several years and has a ton of experience. In this case you are getting two therapists for a price that is usually more affordable than working directly with an experienced therapist.
Then there is online therapy where you can pay much less for a week for unlimited messages with a therapist. This is much cheaper than the average copay for therapy.
Looking Past the Myths and Finding the Right Therapist for You
Once you look past the myths, you’ll see how therapy can help you and is worth both your time and money. If you are considering looking for a therapist, here is some quick advice:
Every therapist is different. Shop for a therapist who is a good fit for you. Find a person you look forward to seeing each week, someone who accepts you and challenges you.
When you find the right fit, you will know it! I encourage you to get out there and grow emotionally. You will thank yourself for it. I promise!