FAQ’s…Or, Therapy Myths Debunked
“If you are in therapy it means you are weak.” Actually just the opposite. If you have made the decision to seek out counseling on a particular issue it means that you are in fact very, very strong. It means that you are wise enough to know that you can’t handle all that life throws at you all by yourself and seeking help is the bravest thing you can do.
“If I go to therapy all you will do is focus on the ____________ (traumatic event) that happened to me when I was a child.” Probably not. It all depends on what you are coming to therapy for. If you don’t want to go there then we don’t have to; we can concentrate on the here and now. We can talk about techniques to help you through whatever has brought you into our office. As you begin to share your story, though, you might realize that what you experienced as a child, or previous season in life does have some impact on your adult life and if and when you are ready we can go there, but YOU get to decide that.
If you are seeing a therapist you must be crazy.” Nope, not at all! The majority of my clients are normal, everyday functioning people just like you and me. People come to therapy for a whole host of reasons but more often than not they just need a neutral outside source to help them through issues they couldn’t otherwise work through on their own.
“If I go to therapy, you’ll make me lie on a couch and all you will do is say, “Uh-huh” to everything I tell you and then make me pay hundreds of dollars for talking. Sorry, no dice on this one either. I do have a couch but most clients sit. I have yet to have a client lie down on it, but if they wanted to they most certainly could. I might ask you questions to help get you started but as you feel comfortable you will begin to share with me things that are going on in your life. You get to decide what you want to talk about. I might help you think through those things with reflective questions or speculative scenarios but I won’t just sit and stare at you for an hour. That would be really boring for me too! Therapy is an investment and I think it’s a really great one.
“If I go to therapy it will unpack a bunch of hard stuff that I didn’t even know existed and that seems more overwhelming to me than working through this one little issue.” Well, I have to be honest on this one…it might happen, BUT that shouldn’t prevent you from coming at all. More than likely your presenting issue is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things we could work through and we will slowly and at your pace, chip away at that iceberg. Sometimes it does get worse before it gets better, but that is really normal and totally expected. Take for instance a remodeling project: if you knew your roof was leaking but only wanted to patch the hole on the inside of your house, it might work for a while but as soon as the next rain storm comes that patch won’t hold. It might be a little harder to fix the roof in its entirety but for the integrity of the house and long term sustainability it is probably the best idea.