For the last 70 years, the month of May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness month. It is nothing new but the nature of therapy for the treatment of mental illness is ever evolving. Its roots can be traced from Freud to BF Skinner to Piaget and the big names of Modern Psychology. The role therapy plays in our present time is incomparable. It has since distanced its reputation from a pathology-centered approach. This concept has yet to completely reach the world around us and therefore, the conversations about therapy must continue.
Here are five myths and the truths that debunk them:
Therapy is the same as venting to someone. Meeting with a therapist means expressing those strong emotions. In fact, there’s no holding back in these sessions. You can scream. You can cry your heart out. The best part is you won’t be judged. But it is more than just venting. That someone is trained to help you process through your thoughts. You explore different avenues to close up wounds. That someone is knowledgeable about current research and techniques to help you heal.
Therapy is about changing who I am and how I live my life. While therapy engages people to look into their habits, patterns of behaviors and desired outcomes, it is a collaborative process. You have to be an active participant. You can have questions. On the contrary, your therapist will walk alongside you to see the beautiful parts of your life.
Therapy is only for people who have childhood problems. It is common for people to use therapy as a means of understanding how childhood experiences have affected their psyche. Therapy is also useful for many things: goal-setting, parenting concerns, money problems, relationship issues, career transitions, and many others. Problems are not a requirement to see a therapist. Happy people are welcome too.
Therapy is the same as taking medications. There are times when medications may be necessary. However, medications don’t function like therapy. They are used to take care of different physical symptoms that may be associated with a specific illness. Therapy provides accountability and support which are essential for emotional wellness.
Therapy is only for people with a diagnosis. Today is as good as any to seek professional help. You don’t need a diagnosis to work on your personal growth. A therapist can give you tools for preventive measures. If you are the kind of person who wants to be proactive, therapy is also right for you.
Nonetheless, there is no single way to explain the process of therapy. The benefits cannot be denied. It exists for everyone who is searching for direction as much as it is for everyone who wants to find peace. Take a big step towards awareness today!