Often times, people may be considering counseling/therapy, but hold back because they believe in one of the common myths about counseling. This post explores six common myths about counseling/therapy and the reality behind these myths.
Myth One: Only crazy people go to counseling.
Reality: The people who go to counseling are just like you and me. They are people who typically function fairly well in their lives, but want to address some underlying concern such as; sadness, worry or irritability. They may be experiencing a relational issue with their partner, child or colleague that they want to address.
Myth Two: I don’t have time for counseling.
Reality: If you are ready to commit to counseling, but time is a barrier for you attending therapy, you may need to get creative about how fit counseling into your schedule. In a previous post, I shared 15 Creative Ways to Make Time for Counseling. It is important to remember that depending on your reasons for seeking counseling, it may be a short term commitment.
Myth Three: Counseling is too expensive.
Reality: Most insurance plans include coverage for counseling appointments if you qualify for a mental health diagnosis. It may be worthwhile to check into the mental health coverage for your specific insurance plan before ruling out counseling based on its cost. There are also clinics where you can receive free counseling services.
Myth Four: My counselor/therapist won’t really care about me.
Reality: Therapists do care about their clients, but it is in a different way than how a friend or family member may care about you. Therapists spend time outside of session reflecting on the work they are doing and how they can support you in making the changes you desire. Therapists want you to be successful in achieving your therapy goals.
Myth Five: I won’t have anything to talk about.
Reality: You’d be surprised how much you actually have to talk about. It’s not uncommon that one of my clients will tell me that they didn’t think they had anything to talk about, but once they sat down and we got going the therapy hour was filled. You will work with your counselor to identify the treatment goals/focus of your work in counseling and this will set the framework for your sessions.
Myth Six: My counselor/therapist will tell me what to do.
Reality: Your therapist will not likely tell you what to do, although he or she may make recommendations. Therapists respect their clients’ choice to follow or not follow the recommendations made. Therapists do not regularly offer a lot of suggestions or give a lot of advice. Therapists believe that you are the expert on yourself and your situation and want to empower you to believe the same. Through the therapeutic process you will explore and process issues that you want to work on, but ultimately your therapist will empower you to identify what, if any, changes you want to make.
If you are considering counseling, but have questions about what to expect, I strongly encourage you to bring your questions and concerns to your potential counselor/therapist. It would be unfortunate not to pursue counseling just because of a myth about the counseling experience.
If you are looking for counseling in the Eagan, Minnesota area, you may want to visit my Counseling Page for more information about the counseling services I offer.