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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Morran

9 Therapy Myths Debunked

Unfortanelty, the stigma around therapy is still prevalent despite the efforts of many groups or individuals to normalize prioritizing our mental health. Myths about therapy can contribute to stigma and foster negative beliefs about accessing support. It is important to debunk some of these myths to help destigmatize therapy:

1. Myth: Therapy is for people with really serious problems.

While therapy can certainly be helpful for individuals who are facing significant mental health challenges, it is also beneficial for a wide range of people and concerns. It can be helpful for anyone who wants to enhance their well-being, improve relationships, manage everyday stress, develop coping skills, or explore and gain insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Therapy can be a great tool to help you gain clarity, and explore you, your uncertainties, and your hopes for the future. Fact: people often seek support and guidance from a counselling professional for various concerns, big or small.

Maybe you are struggling with daily stress, low self-esteem, emotional regulation, or navigating interpersonal relationships. Therapy can help you gain clarity and freedom to begin living the fulfilling and authentic life you desire.

2. Myth: Not many people go to therapy.

The perception that not many people go to therapy is a common misconception. There has been a growing recognition of the importance of mental health and wellness. Fact: with the increased awareness and efforts to destigmatize seeking support, more and more people are feeling comfortable and empowered to access therapy. There is also an increase in accessibility and availability of skilled, trained professionals with the rise of online therapy and telehealth counselling services.

Morran Counselling Therapy offers virtual counselling services throughout Alberta to break down barriers and provide access to quality care. Virtual therapy can offer comfort and convenience to people wanting to participate and access support.

3. Myth: Therapy is a quick fix.

Fact: therapy is a process that takes time, effort, commitment, and active participation. It's not a magical cure that provides instant results; Although people can notice a shift after even one session as it can be so powerful to connect and feel seen and heard. It's important to establish a trusting, safe relationship with a therapist and consistently engage in sessions over a period of time to work through challenges, gain new perspectives, and develop coping strategies.

On the flip side, therapy does not need to be long-term to be helpful, the length of time spent in therapy is really based on each individual's needs. If you decide to do a free consultation with a therapist you may want to discuss the length of therapy with them.

4. Myth: All therapy is the same.

There is a myth that all therapy is the same and is "talk therapy". Fact: therapy involves a wide variety of techniques and approaches to best meet individuals' needs. While talking is a central component of therapy, it's not the only method used. It is important to recognize that even "talk therapy" can look very different depending on the approach of the therapist and the needs of the individual seeking services. Therapists employ various evidence-based techniques and approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness practices, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), art therapy, or play therapy.

Therapy can involve exploration, skill-building, goal-setting, and practical exercises. I like to think about approaches to therapy as different flavours of gum, if your therapist gives you a flavor to chew on and you decide you don't like that flavour, let them know because often therapists are skilled in utilizing multiple different approaches to support the people they work with.

5. Myth: Therapy is just a costly venting session.

While therapists do listen attentively, their role goes beyond that. Fact: therapists are trained professionals who use their expertise to help individuals gain insight, explore patterns, and develop strategies to address their concerns. Therapists provide guidance, tools, and techniques to facilitate personal growth and change.

The role of a therapist can be compared to that of a lighthouse; lighting up the water and creating safety for you to navigate through life's challenges. You are steering the boat and deciding where you want to go. Lighting up the water can help provide insight and clarity on your journey for healing, growth, and overall well-being.

6. Myth: people who access therapy are weak.

This myth stems from the mistaken belief that seeking help is a sign of weakness. Fact: therapy is a courageous step towards self-improvement and emotional well-being. Actively participating in counselling takes a great deal of bravery, often with bravery comes reward.

Thankfully, there has been a societal shift in this harmful perspective. People are starting to acknowledge and discuss the courage it takes to ask for help. It takes strength to recognize when you need support and to actively seek help in navigating life's challenges. Seeking therapy is an empowering choice that promotes personal growth, self-care, and wellness.

7. Myth: Therapists have a one-size fits all for common life challenges.

Therapists work hard to get to know you and the challenges that you are facing to best support you. This can make therapy feel slow at the beginning but it's such an integral part of best supporting you. Fact: therapy is tailored to your needs, exploring emerging themes and patterns to nurture healing, growth, and change. Therapists are able to utilize several different approaches to therapy to create an individualized plan to support you and your unique goals.

8. Myth: Therapy is for people who can't help themselves.

To the contrary therapy is for people who want to help themselves. Fact: therapy is a proactive, collaborative effort, the therapist supports and guides you while you do the work to heal, grow, and change. Therapy helps individuals deepen their understanding of themselves and their relationships, leading to personal growth and improved self-awareness. It can be valuable to have someone hold space for your experiences, hopes, and uncertainties, without judgment.

Awareness regarding your own challenges and how accessing support can help you better navigate them is part of wanting to help yourself. Often people seek support during difficult times, to gain clarity, explore emotions, receive validation, and increase coping skills.

9. Myth: Therapy is too expensive.

It is true that therapy can be costly, and finances can create a barrier to seeking support. Fact: quality, affordable counselling services are available. Insurance coverage, employee assistance programs(EAP), sliding scale fees, and community counselling services are ways to help minimize the financial barriers to therapy. Many private practice therapists such as myself offer a sliding scale to help reduce the financial barrier to accessing support. Please inquire about a sliding scale or no-cost resources if you are in financial need, the cost of therapy should never get in the way of supporting your mental health.

It's important to challenge these myths and recognize that therapy is a valuable resource that can help individuals lead healthier, happier lives. At Morran Counselling Therapy we strive to create a safe, non-judgmental counselling experience to explore the difficulties you are facing. Everyone deserves the support they need to live the life they desire.

If you are considering counselling, contact Danielle at 403-454-9056 during business hours to discuss how Danielle's counselling services can help, or book a free 15-minute consultation online now.

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