One of the most serious issues with the current therapy industry in the UK is the way there seems to be so much conflicting information doing the rounds. This is naturally not completely surprising considering the fact that it is very often viewed as something of a taboo subject. The vast majority of adults believe that professional therapy doesn’t exist for people like them, but for people with much more severe problems than their own.
The trouble is, people are often used to keeping their problems to themselves and live their lives in some state of denial, even if they eventually realise that something is not completely right. In addition, there is also a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in terms of the subject of counselling and therapy. One of the reasons is simply the fact that there are so many myths and falsehoods that paint an inaccurate picture of what professional counselling and therapy are really about. The more people read into these myths, the less likely it becomes for them to seek the assistance they need, when and where they need it.
So with this in mind, here is a quick overview of a few of the most common and persistent myths about professional therapy you have most likely come across at some point:
Therapy is only for people that have hit rock-bottom
Naturally, the most common myth in terms of professional counselling and therapy is the one that suggests it is a service provided only for people with extremely serious and severe problems. While it is fair to say that professional therapy has the potential to transform the lives of people in pretty dire situations, this doesn’t mean that you have to be at the end of your rope to be able to reach out and benefit enormously from therapy. Just as residential rehab for alcoholics can assist people with advanced alcohol addictions, there are therapists that focus their practice on relationship issues, anxiety, self-confidence and so on. The simple fact of the matter is that there is in fact no such thing as a problem too small or insignificant to be brought to the attention of the professionals. If it is something that can improve your life, it is definitely something worth talking about.
You already suspect what the therapist will tell you
There are always people who are completely convinced they already know what advice the therapist will offer them and hence believe that there’s simply no sense in seeking one. Subsequently, they will try to find their own way around their troubles and cope with things solo. The simple fact of the matter is though, it’s quite to the contrary as it’s the job of the therapist to bring up and discuss matters you yourself have never even thought about before. Professional therapy isn’t about stating the obvious and telling people what they already suspect, but rather about challenging people, educating them and steering them in the right direction.
Therapy is extremely expensive
While it is fair to say that you can by all means pay a hefty price for professional therapy sessions, this does not necessarily mean all counselling services are out of reach. Contrary to common assumption, most therapists choose their line of work not for financial reasons, but rather because of their genuine passion for helping people. When you start working with a reputable therapist, you’ll find that they most often than not work in accordance with your budget and needs. Even if money is tight, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to benefit from a truly outstanding service.
To ask for help means to admit failure
While the thought process behind this specific myth is to a large extent understandable, it is also enormously misguided. The reason is that while it is fundamentally easy to keep your troubles to yourself and convince yourself and everybody else that everything is fine, it takes a lot of courage and strength to bring your issues out into the open and discuss them with a professional counsellor. Asking for help when help is clearly needed is not a sign of failure or weakness, it is a sign of common sense. When you know that there is definitely something that can make an important and positive difference in your life, it only makes sense to go for it.
It would be better to speak to a friend
Last up, speaking to friends and family members about personal troubles certainly has the potential to help, but it’s a fundamentally different process than professional therapy. The reason for this is that when you discuss something with an individual who is emotionally attached to you, it is unlikely that either of you can be completely honest and objective. You need advice that is impartial and free of emotion – professional therapists fit the bill.