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4 Myths About Psychotherapy You Should Know Before You Go

Duration Of Therapy 

Some methods of psychotherapy and complex issues may take some time, but many interventions are shorter. Also, many choose to stay in therapy after the issue that brought them has been addressed to better understand themselves and their thoughts.

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4 Myths About Psychotherapy You Should Know Before You Go

4 Myths About Psychotherapy You Should Know Before You Go

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/4-myths-about-psychotherapy-you-should-know-before-you-go-0706165

goodtherapy.org

4

Key Ideas

Therapists Are Not Paid Friends

A therapist should be someone you trust will keep your secrets, and hopefully someone whose company you enjoy, as finding a good fit is an important part of successful therapy.

But your therapist is a professional who trained to perform therapy and is bound by a strict code of ethics requiring them to keep your best interest as a priority. As such, they won’t disclose much about themselves unless it’s to assist with your growth.

Therapy Couch

There is a common misconception that going to therapy, you will lie down on a couch, staring at the ceiling, and talk while an emotionless professional sits near you and writes on a notepad.

Most therapists do have couches in their offices. But many people in therapy choose to sit and talk to their therapist, who often responds. 

Duration Of Therapy 

Some methods of psychotherapy and complex issues may take some time, but many interventions are shorter. Also, many choose to stay in therapy after the issue that brought them has been addressed to better understand themselves and their thoughts.

Therapy Is Not A Weakness

Many consider therapy but worried about its stigma, end up neglecting their health. Taking responsibility for one’s health takes courage and strength. And the payoff, your ultimate well-being, is its own reward—both for you and your therapist.

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Most therapists are encouraging and emphatic, and some therapy models emphasize this warm support more than others. But not all therapy works this way, therapists also have to challenge and educate clients.

Therapists And Money

There are many other areas of expertise that require less effort and are more financially rewarding than therapy. Therapists who thrive in this work deeply respect humanity and aren’t driven by money.

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Women And Therapy

Mostly women go to therapy. This is true as women more often receive therapy because there is less stigma preventing them from doing so. Conversely, societal pressures make men ambivalent...

Therapy Goers And Medication

Most mental health professionals treat mental illness by combining psychotherapy and medication or by therapy alone. Many clients choose the latter when they don’t need medication or think of it as burdensome. 

Willing To Listen

Untrained people can’t offer the same mental health benefits as a mental health professional could.

Your mental health is too big a responsibility to place on the people in your life. They will be there for you during hard times, but shouldn’t be a substitute for therapy.

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"Needing" therapy

By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.

Not everybody needs therapy. But ...

How therapy helps
  • Understanding how the way we tend to think about things affects our moods and emotions
  • Clarifying our values and strategizing about the most effective path toward them
  • Learning to communicate directly and assertively in relationships or the workplace
  • Building self-confidence in social situations
  • Acquiring more effective parenting skills and techniques
  • Working through complicated grief or loss
Therapy and growth

Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.

And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.

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What is existential therapy
What is existential therapy

Existential therapy concentrates on free will, self-determination, and the quest for meaning. It views experiences like as anxiety, alienation and depression as normal phases in the human d...

History of existential therapy
  • Its origins go back to the existential philosophers of the 20th century, mainly to Jean-Paul Sartre, who declared in 1943 that we are “condemned to be free.”
  • Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946, and coined logotherapy as a method of creating meaning.
  • Rollo May moved his perspective of the “existential-humanistic” approach in the 1950s from Europe to America.
  • In 1980, Irvin Yalom defined the basis of the field of existential therapy, by establishing the four “givens” of the human condition: death, meaning, isolation, and freedom.
  • Today there are a few different branches of existential therapy, but they all emphasize the fact that we can deal with existential givens in a way that can move us toward a free, authentic existence.
Existential therapy has slowly been gaining recognition

In 2016, there were 136 existential-therapy institutions in 43 countries across six continents, and existential practitioners in at least 48 countries worldwide.

Recent studies show the benefits of using existential therapy for patients with advanced cancer, incarcerated individuals, and elderly people residing in nursing homes, among others; a number of meta-analyses have gathered data on its effectiveness.

The Way Therapy Works
There is growing research on how therapy actually works. Psychological communication, dialogue, and intervention can work even better than pills.
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Therapy Techniques
  • Some therapists are just there to listen and provide a backdrop.
  • Even the silence that they exhibit seems to kindle the patients into divulging more of their most uncomfortable truths.
  • Others keep the sequence of assignments and tests lined up, never pausing.
  • Therapists play varied roles to get some valuable information out of the patient and make him better.
Therapy That Works

No particular form of therapy is proven to be better or more effective than others.

Different people prefer or respond to different forms of therapy.

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The goal of ACT is not necessarily to reduce one's problematic thoughts and emotions. It is to help people effectively function while they are distressed and to promote more flexible and value-driven behaviors.
In other words, the primary goal is to promote 'valued living.'

Valued living

Valued living is going about your daily life in the service of values you find important. Engaging in these actions creates a sense of meaning and purpose.

The symptoms of psychological suffering are problematic when they are linked to behaviors that draw us away from valued living.

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Psychotherapy Misconceptions

People do form conceptualizations of psychotherapy based on media portrayals.

While you may balance out fictionalized, sometimes-damaging depictions of professionals like physicians or...

The Dangers Of Psychotherapy Misconceptions

Misconceptions may make it hard for you to pinpoint the threshold for significant psychological distress in yourself or others. And can add hurdles to successfully initiating psychotherapy or being willing to stick with it.

Understanding what not to expect from the experience can help you approach treatment as an educated consumer with an open mind.

There's No 'Quick Fix'

Some approaches take more time than others, but it is highly unlikely that lasting change for longstanding issues can be achieved in a few sessions of psychotherapy.

The first appointments are to determine if (and what kind of) therapy can be helpful. You will talk about what led you to seek care and about medical, social, and family history to help the therapist get to know you better.

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Roles of psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Psychologists, in general, provide assessment and therapy in a group format or individually. The purpose is to improve a persons' well-being.
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Try a few therapists

You will need to feel safe and secure and establish a connection with your therapist. It is reasonable to try out a few until you find the right one.

The right therapist will encourage and support you in making uncomfortable changes.

Word of mouth

Ask your community for mental health specialists recommendations. Consider asking your GP, family, friends or local community.

Once you have a few names, look up their qualifications and read up about them.

Deciding to see a therapist

You don’t need to have a specific diagnosis to benefit from therapy.

Most of us have some aspects of our lives we would like to improve: relationships that are in need of some rehab or...

Going through a big change

Change, even if it’s positive, can lead to emotional and physical stress: you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to expect and that leads to confusion.

A professional can help you through a situation that feels insurmountable.

Repeating unhealthy patterns

Everyone makes missteps and occasionally slips into risky behaviors.

But when you can’t stop a specific behavior, if it’s interfering with your ability to function properly in your daily life, or it’s negatively affecting your relationships, it’s time to pause and seek help.

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Pet therapy
Pet therapy

Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy, has recently become an extremely efficient means to help people handle their health issues or mental disorders. 

While cats and dogs ...

Pet therapy and its benefits

The connection between a person and his or her animal has long been known to have many benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to calming one. 

Among the goals that a pet therapy program can include: the improvement of motor skills and joint movement and an increase in your happiness level.

Beneficiaries of the pet therapy and its risks

Among the individuals who should consider pet therapy are the ones who suffer from chronic heart failure or mental health disorders. However, there are a few risks to be taken into account, such as allergies and injuries that can occur on both humans' and animals' side.

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