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Updated by Amy Armstrong on Oct 21, 2015
Headline for Common Misconceptions About Psychotherapy
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Common Misconceptions About Psychotherapy

True confession: even though I'm a professional counselor, I must be the worst patient ever. It's easy to think of plenty of reasons not to go to therapy even when it can be extremely beneficial. If you're feeling brave, or just would like to share, feel free to add to this list, upvote, downvote, whatever you think is appropriate. These are the misconceptions I often encounter with prospective clients about not getting the help that they need.

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Myth: Therapy is too expensive

Myth: Therapy is too expensive

#Therapy is too expensive. Realistically, all healthcare is an investment and like any other medical expense, therapy is an expense. The good news is that under most health plans post-healtcare reform, you can see a therapist for a reasonable co-pay. Since everyone is legally required to have insurance and pay premiums now, psychotherapy is just as routine as brushing your teeth and getting those cleanings.
photo credit: $100 United States one hundred dollar bill via photopin (license)

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Myth: If I go to therapy, I have to change something

Myth: If I go to therapy, I have to change something

To change or not to change. While it's true that most of us seek counseling or therapy because there is something that we would like to be different, that isn't the same thing as your therapist demanding change of you. Keep in mind that different approaches exist and every therapist is different, but based on my knowledge, I don't know of therapists who will kick a client out of therapy because they aren't making a change. Just to be clear: if you're doing something that is actually destructive, will your therapist encourage you to change that behavior? I would hope so. This can be said for substance abuse, anger issues, etc. In the end though, even though we don't like to see clients harming themselves or compromising their relationships with others who matter to them, we also understand that change doesn't happen overnight.

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Only Crazy People Go to Therapy

Only Crazy People Go to Therapy

This is always a tough concern to address because it seems like anything I say is wrong. If I say most people who come to therapy and benefit from it aren't what you usually think of as "crazy," people sometimes wonder, "Well, what are they doing there anyway?" I'll admit that these days, there isn't much of a middle ground for people who need more support than what can be gained through weekly outpatient sessions. Weekly therapy means doing a lot of work on your own and seeing a therapist to get support for the processing that happens between sessions. If your therapist isn't confident you can manage in that environment, it's incumbent upon him or her to let you know.
photo credit: Image taken from page 65 of 'Vizetelly's Sixpenny Series of Amusing Books' via photopin (license)