It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed since the development of psychoanalysis by Freud, there is still this very constant stigma around people going to therapy. This prejudice can come from the people in your family or it might just be part of the culture where you are inserted. The main misconception people have about therapy is that only crazy people go to it. Well, I do go to therapy and I would say I am my own kind of crazy but isn’t everyone? No one is 100% sane – the difference is that some people choose to understand their type of crazy and how to deal with it while others don’t.
My hope is that this post can help diminish some of the stigma around such a healthy treatment by showing you what the misconception around it is and what you can actually gain by going to therapy.
Going to or needing therapy doesn’t mean you are crazy
Every person is their own person, and some have to deal with things others don’t. I, for example, have to deal with anxiety and the symptoms connected to it, so therapy not only helps me deal with those symptoms and try to find a preemptive solution, but it also provides me with the tools to go about my daily life without having my anxiety disrupt it. Going to therapy can help you deal with issues that you might be facing in your life and it can also provide you with a better insight on yourself.
So if anyone even hints that people that need therapy are crazy, just remember – going to therapy just means you prefer to embark on a journey of self-discovery instead of burying your monsters where they cannot be dealt with. It hurts but it usually benefits not only you but also the people around you.
Therapy doesn’t necessarily look like what you see on TV
Some TV shows and movies show how therapy is, and from experience, I can tell you that that’s not the most accurate representation. While there are sessions where the person is basically just venting to their therapist about their issues and ignoring what the therapist says – as can be seen on Lucifer, for example – depending on your reasoning for going to therapy, there are several different approaches to the sessions that can be used. Normally, the type of session and therapy you do will be determined by your therapist after assessing what you might need. For example, if you have self-esteem issues, one type of therapy that might be opted is cognitive therapy, where you will be led through a process to understand your thought process better and therefore have a better understanding of where the issues lie within your brain.
People won’t judge you while you are in therapy
There are some people that don’t go to therapy because they are afraid of what it might mean for their reputation, or even of what they might discover, or maybe because they are just a little too proud to have the courage to ask for help. What needs to be understood is that whoever you talk to, they will not judge you. They will work their very best to make it a safe environment for you to be comfortable in, and feel safe sharing whatever you want with them, and they will try to help you with whatever you have to deal with.
You don’t have to have “a problem” to go to therapy
Another misconception is that something has to be wrong with you for you to go to therapy. That is absolutely false. Despite the fact that I have a very good group of friends, there are some things that happen that I don’t exactly feel comfortable sharing with them. It can be very cathartic talking to someone about what’s going on in your life. Your therapist’s office will be a safe space for you to have someone to confide in that will in no way judge you but will try to understand you and guide you to a good solution.
Your therapist can be a professional sounding board for you to throw your ideas at; a person with whom you can brainstorm out loud and, yes, ALSO, a person who you can pay to listen to you when you just want to vent, cry, bitch and be horrible for a whole hour – and THEY WILL NOT JUDGE YOU FOR IT. And if that alone is not a good enough reason, I don’t know what is 😉.
This current stigma around seeking professional help will most likely not fade as quickly as I wish it would, but, by breaking some misconceptions about the topic, the change might be seen within whoever reads this post. By choosing to go to therapy you will be enabling yourself to grow more mindful and to also develop as a person.