It’s hard to know what goes on behind the therapist’s door when you’ve never been to therapy before
And it’s hard to explain it, too, but that’s only because each and every therapist/patient dynamic is so different and catered to your individual needs. But because it’s hard to explain, and often all we see of therapy are dramatized depictions in the media, it’s easy to believe myths about it. So we thought we’d ask our Instagram community the most common misconceptions about therapy. Next week, we’ll be back with some of our MyWellbeing practitioners responses to these misconceptions. A little therapy myth-busting, if you will! Check out our list below!
Common misconceptions about therapy:
- That you will click with your first therapist! Sometimes you have to try a few out. It’s not one-size fits all. (MyWellbeing knows this best, that’s why we match you with three potential therapists - not just one!).
- That you have to be at rock-bottom or have experienced a tragedy to start. It’s like a primary care doctor, you find one when you’re healthy so they know how to care for you when you’re not feeling well!
- That therapists judge you!
- There’s nothing I can talk to a therapist about that I couldn’t just talk to a significant other or friend about.
- That a therapist is an old white man in a chair saying nothing while I talk and talk.
- That it’s always painful. Sometimes it’s eye-opening, mind-blowing and FUN!
- That the therapist just wants to keep me as long as possible, despite my progress, to make more $$$.
- That someone else can “fix” you (or that you even need fixing!).
- That therapists always want to and can medicate you. There’s a difference between psychiatry and talk therapy!
- That they have to identify as the same gender identity as you.
- That therapists can’t share personal anecdotes from their own life.
- That you have to go every week. Find a cadence that works for you! Your life, your schedule.
- That the therapists only says “hmmmmmmm and how does that make you feel?”
- That you have to be seriously depressed to go to therapy. Anyone can go, anytime!
- That it is terrifying!
- That therapy doesn’t require difficult, focused work.
- It’s a waste of time. Therapy won’t work unless you do bb.
- You should feel “uncomfortable” because therapy is challenging. NO! Comfort with your therapist is key.
- That if you go to therapy you are “weak” and can’t heal on your own.
- That you should skip a week if “nothing happened.” Those weeks are great for self discovery!
- That you have to go into each session knowing what you want to talk about.
- That therapists are god-like and know all the answers.
- That you can’t afford it! There are schools that offer low-cost therapy, and many therapists take insurance or are sliding scale.
- That your problems aren’t serious enough to deserve therapy.
- That you can’t find a queer affirming therapist.
- That it’s always challenging and tooth-pulling. It’s often reassuring!
- That you will fall in love with your therapist.
- That once you open up your emotions in therapy you can’t live your current life. Or that if you talk about your conflict with a loved one you’ll have to cut them out of your life.
- That they tell you what to do. The best therapists treat you as the best expert in your life!
- That it’s extra and not a necessity for your own well-being!
- In couples coaching it’s a myth that you have to be ready to breakup or divorce before you even start. Couples therapy is a wonderful place to grow and cherish your relationship.
- That you’ll have to go there forever and that you have to dig up all your childhood demons.
- That you need a diagnosis to go, or that you’ll be given one upon going.
- That it’s just a place to get advice. It’s so much more!
- That you have to do everything your therapist says. Therapists can be wrong too. You grow together!
- That you have to love your therapist all the time. Conflict is normal and sometimes necessary in the patient/therapist dynamic.
- That there’s an end-point. You can stay in therapy as long as you like because you never have to stop learning about yourself and your needs.
We are so grateful to our community for helping us make this list! If you’re new to MyWellbeing, we are a therapist matchmaking service in NYC. We know the most important, and most daunting, part of finding a therapist is the right fit - so we take the bulk of that heavy lifting and help you find your perfect match.
We know you have a busy life with lots of responsibilities. But we also want to remind you that you deserve to have help along the way. We hope reading this list has cleared up some of your misconceptions about therapy, and gives you a little nudge to give it a try!