For every person comfortable with seeking help from a professional therapist, there seem to be dozens of individuals convinced that working with a therapist somehow means they are weak, inferior, or otherwise incapable of handling their own problems. The truth is, mental health is important, and many more people struggle with feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress than you might imagine. Those that seek help often dismiss the myths surrounding psychotherapy. Here are a few of the more common myths:
Myth #1: You have to be crazy to see a therapist.
While this is how the media, Hollywood, and many novels love to portray psychotherapy patients, this is simply not true. While some of our patients come to us because they are struggling with a mental illness, many come to therapy sessions for assistance in coping with daily stress. Therapy is for everyone, not just those suffering from a mental illness.
Myth #2: Once you start therapy, you’re stuck for life.
Sure, some people continue to visit a therapist most of their lives, but many of our patients only need short-term therapy. At Long Island Counseling, our goal is to help you overcome your problems. We don’t want you to continue to struggle for the rest of your life. If we can help you achieve results in a few sessions, great! If not, we’re happy to work with you as long as you need us to.
Myth #3: If you go to therapy, it’s because you have no friends.
Talking out your problems with a group of your closest friends might help, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. Your friends may not have the advice you’re looking for, or may often become impatient if you’re struggling with the same issues over and over again. A professional therapist will be able to help you identify your problems and offer solutions. We’ll come up with a treatment strategy that involves more than just therapeutic shopping sessions down Fifth Avenue.
Myth #4: Therapy is a waste of time. You can get better on your own by having a positive outlook.
Therapy is never a waste of time, and while having a positive outlook on life can make a huge impact on your mood and how you approach situations, it may not be enough to make you feel completely happy. In fact, many patients try to treat themselves for years before seeking professional help. Remember, going to a therapist does not mean that you are a failure; it simply means that you know what’s best for you.
Myth #5: Psychotherapists just listen and take notes.
Despite what the movies tell you, psychotherapists do more than just play tic-tac-toe as you talk. If your therapist is taking notes, it’s because they are listening to you and identifying areas that might be beneficial for you to work on. The questions posed by your therapist are designed to help you examine a situation from a different angle to give you more insight into your responses and emotions.
Myth #6: Your therapist won’t do anything other than give you medication.
As an experienced psychotherapy practice in Long Island, we know that medication is not always the answer. In fact, a good psychotherapist will look for other solutions long before writing a prescription. Every patient is different, and not everyone needs or can benefit from pharmaceutical treatments. The primary goal of a therapist is to help you develop healthy problem-solving skills so you can navigate the stressors and triggers in your daily life on your own.
If you are looking for an experienced psychotherapist in Long Island, contact Long Island Counseling today. Together, we’ll find the best way to help you overcome your anxiety and feelings of depression. Schedule an appointment today.