Counseling Myths

Ten Common Myths of Therapy

There is a lot of misinformation about counseling or therapy. See if these address any of your concerns about seeing a therapist.

1. I am a person of faith, I do not need therapy

Do you need a dentist? A physician? A plumber? An auto mechanic? Therapists are trained to help you put your faith to work to repair psychological cavities and wounds, just as plumbers and mechanics fix stopped drains and blown gaskets. For many clients, therapy is a very spiritual experience and one's faith is often deepened in the process of learning about oneself.

2. Only crazy people go to therapy

Anyone can benefit from therapy; wise people seek it out with confidence. Life is hard, and therapy can provide you with the tools to handle difficulties in a more positive, constructive, conscious manner.

3. You have to be near to divorce to go to couples counseling

Those marriages least likely to divorce are often those whose partners have sought out therapy from time to time all along. Unfortunately, too many couples do wait until the situation has gotten so bad that one or both parties is contemplating divorce.

4. Everyone will know I am in therapy

They will know only if you tell them. Do you imagine they would think badly of you if they did know? Don't tell anyone who you believe would use the information to hurt you in some way.

5. Therapy is too expensive

Not getting therapy is even more expensive; it robs you of the life you might have led. When your brakes go bad on your car you'd dread paying $800 for the repair but you see it as necessary. Your life and relationship are far greater value that your brakes.

6. I am afraid therapy will change who I am

You are going to change whether you are in therapy or not. It will be less scary to march into the future with the confidence and courage that therapy can help you discover within yourself. Therapy can help you set your own course, and give you the tools to choose what you want to change and allow you to see what you really value about yourself.

7. S/he is the one that needs therapy, not me

You will make great progress in therapy when you are ready to focus on changing yourself, not some other person who troubles you.

8. Marital problems can only be worked on as a couple

Often working with just one person in a couple tends to improve the marital relationship for both parties. When one person grows, the entire family system is affected.

9. Children do not need therapy

Children are as deeply affected by the events in their lives as adults are, sometimes even more so, given how little control they have in their lives. Children who are sad, irritable, over anxious, or hyperactive tend to make much better adjustments to life when they can have the rich benefits of child play therapy.

10. What good is it to dredge up the past?

If your roof is leaking, the repairman is going to want to know a bit about the roof. What is it made of? When was it last repaired? How extensive is the trouble? That doesn't usually mean he is going to tear the whole house apart. Similarly, a therapist needs to know a bit about your personal building blocks, because your present life is resting on what has happened up until now. The best repairs are well informed ones.

This list is condensed from a more comprehensive article publish by the Santa Clara Chapter of CAMFT. The complete list can be view at their web site. SCV CAMFT