Myths about psychotherapy that have been debunked

There are many myths surrounding the effects of psychotherapy. However, most have already been denied. In this space we review them.

Last update: November 19, 2021

“I’m not going to the psychologist because I’m not crazy”… This is perhaps one of the most widespread myths about psychotherapy. We hear it often, for example after advising a friend to seek psychological help. Nevertheless, It is not the only false belief surrounding mental health consultations.

Unfortunately, since ancient times, many myths have been established in society on this subject. The truth of everything is that it is an enrichment space, which provides support and strategies to increase well-being on a day-to-day basis. Let’s see a little more what it is about

Myths and truths about psychotherapy

Today, many misconceptions about psychological therapy have been toppled. Still, some myths persist about how it works and its effects. Consequently, many people do not access this care to take care of your problems and improve your mental health. What are the most common myths about psychotherapy? We review them.

1. “Psychotherapy is for crazy people”

This myth hides two fundamental errors. One of them has to do with the stigmatization of mental illness. There are also people who consult for problems of daily life; for example, difficulties socializing, taking an exam, falling asleep, among other issues.

Secondly, It is believed that all the people who consult for psychotherapy have some problem, and this is not necessarily so. There are those who do it to work on those positive aspects that they already have, or because they are interested in further deepening their self-knowledge.

Ultimately, it is also common to hear that psychologists are the ones who are crazy, and that they choose this profession to solve their own problems. Fake! The only certain thing is that, from the years of study and learning, professionals also learn tools and resources that they can apply in their lives.

It is important to banish myths about psychotherapy. This, in general, is a tool that helps promote well-being.

2. “A stranger will not be able to help me”

Although at first the therapist is an unknown person, over time a therapeutic relationship begins to be built, based on trust, empathy, open listening and professional ethics.

In this sense, it is also convenient to emphasize that this “stranger” has a theoretical background and with tools regarding multiple topics. Therefore, it can be helpful with regard to the reason for consultation or the discomfort of those who come to therapy.

3. “You always turn to the past and to childhood”

It is important to understand that therapists need to have a framework and context to understand and know their patients. That implies asking questions and addressing issues related to parenting, childhood, relationships, among others.

However, the focus is not always on this vital stage. There are even many schools of psychology, and types of therapy, that only address that topic in the initial interview and at some other time, only if necessary.

4. “In psychotherapy sessions only the patient speaks”

That’s not true. There are currents that intervene more than others, with returns at specific times. In any case, each time the therapist intervenes, he does so according to the usefulness of his comment.

Thus, it is not a question of strictly following the premise of intervening or not intervening, but rather it is evaluated based on what is happening at the time of the session. In many cases, depending on the patient, different types of techniques are applied, such as the empty chair, role playing, among other.

5. “In psychotherapy they tell you what to do”

Patients do not have a passive role in therapy, quite the opposite; they are expected to be able to commit to the therapeutic space and to be oriented towards change. This implies that they must assume an active and responsible role, and be participants in what the professional in charge proposes.

In this case, the intention is not to tell them what to do, but to provide some guidelines, advice or points of view so that the patients can decide what is best for them. Therapists do not seek to create a dependency relationship. What they are interested in is that the person learns to reflect, to observe himself and to acquire coping resources.

6. “Therapy lasts for years”

It is another of the myths about psychotherapy. And it is that, in reality, it is not necessarily so. There are therapies that are more focused than others, and that determine certain therapeutic objectives throughout some sessions. Then the patient is discharged. Some, perhaps, are more extensive. Despite this, the person can choose the one they consider most appropriate.

Benefits of psychotherapy

As an article published in Neurotherapeutics, evidence-based psychotherapies are effective in supporting the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric conditions. Also, your benefits include the following:

  • Deepen a greater self-knowledge.
  • Improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Discover the reasons why we have certain behaviors.
  • Learn to deal with conflicts in a healthy way.
  • Improve our links.
  • Develop social skills and learn to set limits.
  • Face and solve problems of all kinds; work, vocational, relational, family, etc.

In short, what psychotherapy is looking for is promote a state of well-being in the person to improve your quality of life.

Psychotherapy helps self-knowledge and the development of skills to deal with various life situations.

In which cases can psychotherapy be useful?

Starting psychotherapy does not have to be associated with having a problem, quite the contrary; Many times, an early approach allows a timely intervention, which prevents a situation from escalating and becoming older.

Even, allows you to manage everyday problems that at the moment seem unimportant. Therefore, it is good to consider this type of therapy as a useful and self-care space.

Psychotherapy is not synonymous with having problems

In general, it is convenient to promote a positive vision about what psychotherapy represents. First, because there is nothing wrong with having problems and asking for help to fix them. This does not make us weak, but the opposite; allows us to strengthen ourselves, by identifying what we need.

Second, because going to the psychologist may well be a lifestyle that allows us to be in greater contact with ourselves. It is a space that can allow us personal development and fulfillment.

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