Seven Myths about Psychotherapy
I DON’T NEED PSYCHOTHERAPY BECAUSE ...
I can talk to my good friends about my problems
There’s no doubt that the love and support of family and friends is very important. Usually, friends go back and forth discussing each other’s issues but a therapy session is devoted to you – and it’s entirely confidential. During a session with a highly trained professional able to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioural problems, you can ‘let it all hang out’. When we’re talking to friends, we tend to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings or showing ourselves in a bad light.
I can get better on my own – I just need to have a positive attitude
Some people try to solve their problems over years and find that it’s simply not enough. Seeing a therapist doesn’t mean you’ve failed. After all, most of us wouldn’t dream of trying to fix our own car. Some disorders such as panic attacks and depression have a biological component, making it incredibly difficult, if not impossible to heal yourself.
People who go to therapy are weak
Sadly, many people think it’s fine to go to a doctor for a physical problem but they see psychological problems as a weakness or character flaw. Having the courage to reach out and admit you need help is a sign of strength not weakness – and it’s the first step towards feeling better. After all, there’s no sense in staying stuck in a bad situation.
Only crazy people go for psychotherapy
People consult psychotherapists for a range of reasons. Some need treatment for depression, anxiety or substance abuse. Others need help processing major life changes: job loss, divorce or the death of a loved one. Some need help managing the demands of parenting, work and family responsibilities, coping with medical illness or improving their relationship skills. These problems affect all of us and can be solved through therapy. Some people go to therapy to figure out who they are in order to live life to the fullest – and there’s no shame in wanting to live a better life.
Therapy is expensive and takes too long
This common misperception often prevents people from seeking help. If you are concerned, speak to your therapist to get an indication of the cost of your treatment. Most psychologists have a deep respect for humanity or they would have chosen more lucrative careers. We believe in focused effective treatments and within a few sessions you should know whether the psychologist is right for you. Change doesn’t have to take years. And think about how much you spend on superficial things trying to make yourself feel better. Therapy is an investment in yourself – it helps you to reach your full potential, setting aside the fears and obstacles that are holding you back.
A psychologist will just blame all your problems on your parents or your childhood
A psychologist might suggest exploring significant events that have impacted on your life, including childhood experiences. Sharing information about your family background can help you and your psychologist understand your perceptions and feelings, the strategies you use to cope or identify behavioural patterns. Looking back sometimes helps you understand the present in order to make positive changes for the future. In some situations, your psychologist will focus on the current problem without examining your past at all.
Psychologists just listen to you vent, so why pay someone to listen to you complain?
The starting-point of therapy involves the psychologist asking you to explain what brought you there in the first place. The psychologist will gather relevant background information, the problems you have previously experienced and the manner in which you’ve responded to major life events. Psychotherapy is an interactive, collaborative process. It involves dialogue and your active participation in joint problem-solving strategies. Your psychologist may give you homework or reading assignments focused on practising new skills or learning more about a topic. Together you will identify problems, set future goals and assess your progress.
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Cell: 082 774 7868
Woodmead ext 11
Cell: 082 774 7868