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  • Writer's pictureMaire Daugharty, MD MS

Misconceptions about Therapy

Updated: Apr 11

Guest Post by: Kasryn Kapp, LPC who is a therapist licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey with 8 years of experience in a variety of settings from career services to substance use counseling. Kasryn is now in private practice at BodyMind Alliance which you can find here She specializes in treating insomnia using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).

Perhaps you are curious a bout therapy but have some concerns and worries about what therapy will be like. Below are some common misconceptions about therapy that I have heard. Learning about some of these myths or misconceptions about therapy may add clarity and help you understand the process on your healing journey.

Misconception 1: Therapy is only for people with serious mental health issues:

While mental health therapy can address these concerns, therapy can also help with many concerns that don't involve a serious mental health issue. Most people find themselves stuck in unhelpful patterns from time to time and may benefit from exploring these patterns and assumptions with a therapist. This doesn't mean that there is a serious mental health issue. Therapy can also help with grief and loss, transitions and stress.

Misconception 2: Therapy is only for those who are "weak":

It takes s lot of strength and courage to begin a therapy journey. There is also a great strength in understanding yourself more deeply, breaking habits that don't serve you and working on achieving your goals. Therapy can help you face challenges of life with improved strategies to cope, thus making you stronger. A quote from the homepage highlights this well "Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength" - Sigmund Freud.

Misconception 3: Therapy is just talking about your problems:

Some may think therapy is merely a place to vent. While it is true that, sometimes, clients experience relief right away simply from talking about something painful they have been holding alone for a long time, therapy is more than the initial release. Therapy is also a place to discover solutions and get "unstuck."

Misconception 4: Therapists give advice and solve your problems for you:

It's a common belief that therapists provide direct advice or solutions. Therapy can help you identify and gain insight about assumptions you might be making and how they might get in the way of, or support, your life goals and relationships but typically this is something therapy can help you realize on your own.

Misconception 5: Therapy takes forever:

Some people hesitate to start therapy, fearing it will be a lifelong commitment. There are short, medium and long-term benefits to therapy and there are also varied approaches that differ in length. Therapy can be straightforward, brief, and solution focused, or more long-term and focus on deep insights. You can talk with your therapist about what approach you'd like to pursue. Als, therapy requires your consent. This means that you can end therapy at any time and you are never trapped in it or forced to continue forever.

Misconception 6: Therapy is like talking to a friend:

While friends are important, therapy provides a professional, confidential, and unbiased perspective that friends may not offer. Therapy involves a slow building of a trusting relationship in which you are invited to bring up what is on your mind without fear of backlash. It is also focused on your needs and healing. This makes it unique from everyday conversation with friends.

I hope the discussion about these misconceptions was helpful. If you think therapy might be beneficial to you, know that you can try it without having to make any kind of long-term commitment.

I wish you well,

Kasryn Kapp, LPC


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