The growing awareness of the need for mental health services has propelled many online and offline businesses to prosper. It is the need of the hour and essential but how much do you know about therapy? Rather are you going to therapy with the expectation that a certain counsellor will magically tell you the answer to all your problems as portrayed in the various entertainment platforms?
This article attempts to bring forward some of the common myths that many people might have regarding therapy and counselling services in particular.
“Only broken or seriously ill people take therapy“
Despite the awareness and advertisements by various mental health professionals, most people in our country think that therapeutic services are only accessed by seriously ill patients. People’s perspectives change towards those who are taking therapy. There’s a certain kind of stigma and prejudice attached to therapy that might make an individual reluctant to take help. People also approach counsellors/therapists to improve their quality of life.
“My therapist can be my friend“
Most of the clients describe a counsellor/therapist as someone who gets them. Naturally, because of the supporting and caring environment, a client may confuse the role of a therapist and may consider the counsellor as their ‘friend’ which cannot be possible. Counsellor and therapists are bound by ethical guidelines which prohibits them to have any personal relations with the clients except that of the professional relationship. Usually, to avoid what we call counter-transference (when the counsellor over shares with the client and starts to transfer feeling onto the client) therapists cannot be your friend.
“Therapy occurs in sessions to extort more money”
My friend once told me that, “psychology people take sessions so that they could charge more”. I’m sure many people think the same. Now, look at this from the other side of the coin. Human beings are very complex individuals and we all have different problems. According to every individual’s needs and wants, counselling services are customized. To do that, a therapist first needs to understand the problem which is affecting the client. A major thing to consider is that people don’t generally open up to a stranger. Nor do they disclose inner secrets in the first few sessions no matter who the person might be. For all these processes to happen a therapist requires time with the client, hence the need to take sessions.
“A counsellor can solve my problem“
This is a major myth that is fuelled by the media and other platforms. A glaring example of it being seen in a widely popular OTT series where the ‘counsellor’ tells his client that ‘as her counsellor, he knows what is right for her’. This is a false portrayal of the services provided by mental health professionals. Therapy works behind the key concept that a client is capable of solving their problems. The therapist just provides them with the insight to do so. A counsellor/therapist facilitates them into solving their problem as the ultimate goal is for the client to learn how to tackle their problem if it arises in the future.
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