Myths About Therapy
Updated: Jun 22
What it is, and what it isn't.
How is therapy different from just talking to a friend? Therapy is for people who are “crazy”, I’m not “crazy”! I don’t have any “real” problems; I’m “fine”, though the people around you might be expressing concerns and even suggesting talking to a professional.
Therapy is not a quick fix. Just like going to the gym, you don’t go once or twice and come out with a six-pack. Our inner world mirrors our physical world. Therapy helps create an environment for our inner world, our mind, emotions and sometimes even our body, to heal and grow. You cannot force the process of physical healing; you can’t make it go faster. Our emotional and mental health is the same.
Therapists and clients work together to identify the underlying issue to symptoms, then create goals and a plan to make the changes necessary for a more desirable outcome. It takes time to create new habits. It requires patience with yourself and the process.
Talking to a friend can be helpful, and having a support network is encouraged for optimal mental and emotional health. However, friends and family may not always be unbiased or be willing to tell you things for fear of upsetting you. Sometimes hearing something that you may even have heard before from an objective party can give it more validity or be presented in a way that is better received.
The internet can be a useful tool in gaining more information but then you must figure out how to apply it. The internet can also be overwhelming, contradictory, confusing, and sometimes misleading. Having a professional can help narrow down the information to what is going to best serve you and then provide the support and accountability in application.
Growth is an ongoing process often toward the acceptance of both the desirable and undesirable parts of us and others, maximizing the desirable and managing the undesirable. Learning to take control of the things we are responsible for – ourselves – and recognizing and accepting the things we do not have control over.
People go to therapy for various reasons and for various lengths of time. You don’t have to be “crazy” to benefit from therapy. The need may be as mild as wanting additional information and skills to optimize your efforts in current and/or future endeavors, improving communication with those you care about, managing undesirable emotional reactions and/or intensive processing of unresolved trauma. Therapy can be a helpful tool in that process.
By: Michele Mulcahy, MMFT, LMFT-S
CLEAR Counseling, LLC 06/10/2023