Friday, June 10, 2011

Common Myths that Fuel Therapy Avoidance

Some people avoid seeking psychotherapy because of myths or half-truths they believe. Here are a few common myths that keep people from seeking help:

Myth #1: Only really "crazy" people seek psychotherapy.
Fact: It is true that people with serious mental illnesses like Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder need therapy. However, more people seek therapy for the sadness, worry, and/or agitation triggered by common stressors.

Myth #2: I should be able to solve my problems on my own.
Fact: This myth is especially favored by men, but some women also feel like seeking therapy means admitting defeat. The fact is, most people come to a point sooner or later when their toolbox could use some new tools. There is no shame in this.

Myth #3: My problems are not that important because other people have much worse problems.
Fact: If your problems are important to you, they are important period. You are as valuable as anyone else. 

Myth #4: It's not me that needs psychotherapy, it's my brother/ spouse/ mother/ child.
Fact: Even if your loved one does need help, you too may need therapy if you find yourself consumed by worry, sadness or irritation because of the person in question.

Myth #5: My problem will go away on its own. 
Fact: This may be true. Some problems do resolve naturally in time. Others fester until they are properly addressed.  

Myth #6: My problem is too embarrassing to tell anyone about.
Fact: While you may be embarrassed to talk about your problem, it is unlikely your therapist will be uncomfortable. Part of a therapist's job is to help people feel comfortable talking about difficult, personal issues.