Common Myths about Psychotherapy and Counselling:
Counselling and psychotherapy are only for those in severe psychological distress.
Affordable, ongoing support can be hugely beneficial to anyone. Talking therapies are no longer considered just for those in immediate psychological distress. Whether you are going through a specific crisis, need support from an outsider, or simply want to look at ways in which you can meet your full potential, psychotherapy and counselling may be able to help.
It is expensive.
How much money would you spend each year on things that help you feel good about your life; cars, clothes, eating out, holidays, haircuts, technology, coffees and gifts? When we compare the cost of psychotherapy, it comes to roughly the same as eating out once a week. Compare what this gives you, to the satisfaction of understanding and being at peace with your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and the sense of finally reaching your full potential. Investing in your psychological wellbeing is not only an investment into your current state, but also into your future.
You don’t need a therapist because you are smart enough to work out your own problems.
Being able to look at our own psychology has little to do with intelligence. We all have our blind spots regardless of how self-aware we are. Psychotherapist and counsellors are specially trained to notice the processes, which we may not be aware of.
I don’t need to talk to anyone else when I have friends and family to talk to.
Getting support from friends and family is very important. However, it is not the same as talking to someone who has been trained in psychotherapy and counselling. Each of us has an investment in those we love being happy and Ok in the world, and therefore we often offer advice in order to give that person a quick fix to their problems. Psychotherapy is very different to this. It is about understanding the process which has led you to where you are today, and working out what ways you may be inadvertently stopping yourself from being who the version of yourself who you really want to be.
All counsellors are the same.
There are many different philosophies and approaches to therapy, and even when two therapists are trained in the same modality, their individual style may vary greatly. Some therapists may talk and intervene more, whilst others will sit back and listen. You may prefer a more active approach, or equally, benefit from simply having the space to voice your thoughts in the presence of a supportive individual. For this reason it is important to find a therapist who feels right for you.
It will take years to work !
There is increasing evidence showing that talking therapies really do work. People are successful in making the changes they wanted to, and report feeling more creative and resourceful as a result of therapy.
Therapy does not necessarily have to be long term, and a lot of progress can be made within 12 - 20 sessions. However, some people do go on to stay in therapy long term. This is because they are continuing to uncover issues which are holding them back in some way, and have found therapy to be helpful. Very few people would continue in long term therapy if they were not gaining something valuable from the experience.