The most common misconceptions about therapy.
It's only for big issues.
Many people see counselling as a treatment, a bit like booking a doctor’s appointment when you are ill. However, we know now this view of counselling is outdated and unhelpful. If we wait until we are struggling with our mental health to seek support then we are often not as able to engage with the process, think about it, if you were feeling physically unwell would you pick that as an optimum time to sign up to the gym…
There doesn’t need to be a tragedy or trauma in your life for you to benefit from talk therapy. Day-to-day stressors make up parts of our life and can have a growing impact on us without us even being fully aware of them. How we live our lives, the daily pressure and flow, deserves our care and attention too, in fact it’s how we stay balanced and healthy in this ever-changing world we live in.
Just talking about it won’t help
Well actually this is one of the biggest myths around, just the simple act of talking to someone such as a counsellor, who we feel we can trust, who wont judge us and who is there, willing and able to provide an environment that feels safe enough to speak our inner thoughts out loud is hugely beneficial. Talking in this way can provide relief from those things we know weigh heavy on us but also for those things we never even realised were a stressor. Research has shown that talking and sharing can be very restorative “reducing stress, strengthening our immune system, and reducing physical and emotional distress (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988).”
Alongside these feelings of relief and restoration we can also experience an increased connection to the people around us when we talk. When we speak our thoughts out loud we feel less isolated and alone, we humans are social beings and even us introverts are hardwired to desire some kind of connection. That said for many different reasons unique to each and every one of us sometimes this simple act of talking can be hard but therapy can offer a space solely for this that can feel welcoming and without pressure.
Therapy is only for people who can’t cope
If anything therapy is the exact opposite. Talk therapy is a fantastic opportunity for you to get to know yourself more and in turn understand yourself further. The desire for connection I mentioned earlier, it helps with that too in that, the more we understand of ourselves the more we can share and bond with others.
Therapy is also a fantastic place for personal growth; it can be a place to set intentions for your future, a space to acknowledge your achievements, a time to reflect on where you have been and where you are right now. All of this holds so much value and is integral to living the meaningful life you deserve.