If you’re basing your idea of psychotherapy on what you’ve seen in movies and on TV, most likely, your idea is wrong. Most depictions of this treatment are simply done for laughs, but one thing’s for sure: Those who turn to psychotherapy are dealing with a whole range of issues from personal growth and wanting to improve the quality of life to more serious mental health and relationship issues.

Here’s the real deal: Psychotherapy myths are laughable, but the true practice is most certainly not.

Presented below are five of the most common myths about psychotherapy and a brief explanation of why they are indeed only myths.

Myth #1 – Only crazy people see a psychotherapist

  • This isn’t so. People who are completely sane may also be recommended the services of a psychotherapist because life can present situations that are simply too challenging for one to bear psychologically. A psychotherapist is known to present solutions so people can cope more appropriately with, and eventually overcome, these challenges.

Myth #2 – Psychotherapy is as simple as talking to a trusted family member or friend

  • Talking with beloved and trusted people may help alleviate the heaviness that one is feeling, but the scientific know-how of a qualified psychotherapist is completely different from whatever advice or solutions that personal confidantes may provide. A psychotherapy session is not always just talk; there’s a thorough evaluation of that conversation, such as reading into facial expressions, behaviour or overall demeanour, reasoning or thought patterns. These are factors that even the people closest to you will not be able to effectively read into.
  • Also, psychotherapists are complete professionals. They are not meant to pass judgment on you based on your history, they will always come from a neutral place, and they will not share your secrets with others.

Myth #3 – With the right attitude, you can work things out on your own

  • Conquering mental health issues is not just about reasoning with yourself and having power of the mind. Psychotherapists can help you access resources and strengths you may not have known you  have and wouldn’t be able to discover on your own.

Myth#4 – You pay psychotherapists to listen to you ramble about yourself

  • Listening is not all that these professionals do. They make sense of everything you tell them according to the science they have studied. They also talk to you, ask you questions that will allow you both to delve deeper into the concerns wearing you down. Likewise, they present exercises that you can try on your own to provide you with the skill set that can help identify the triggers to your issues and solve them. Sessions are interactive; they’re not just about you talking and talking, and them, doodling on a notebook or their chart.

Myth #5 – Psychotherapy takes forever

  • Since psychotherapists help you work out your issues, you’re certainly not going to have those issues for the rest of your life, so there will come a time when you no longer need to seek psychotherapy. Psychotherapy’s goal is to empower you with skills and the right mindset so that, as much as possible, you can manage on your own.

If you want to work with a psychotherapist, search our national directory of qualified counsellors and therapists at www.australiacounselling.com.au