Debunking myths about mental health and attending therapy

Mental health is still a very taboo and stigmatized concept in many places, especially in the Caribbean. Many people have some misconstrued ideas of what therapy entails and who should or should not attend therapy. In this post, Guiding Lanes will be dispelling a few myths that we have come across during our practice, as well as others our colleagues have encountered as well.
 

MYTH V FACT

 
  1. MYTH
    Only adults can benefit from therapy

    FACT
    Individuals of any age can benefit from therapy. 
    Children especially benefit from therapy when their family or caregivers are included in the therapeutic process.
  2. MYTH
    If I get therapy I’m crazy! OR If I see a counsellor/ therapist/ psychologist people will think I’m crazy!

    FACT
    People come to therapy for various reasons, including disorders, career advice, and anger management. The term “crazy” is not a term that is used by mental health professionals because it further fuels the stigma and misunderstanding of what therapy really is and can do.

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  3. MYTH
    Therapy is a quick fix! I’ll be fine after the first session

    FACT
    Therapy takes time and cooperation from the client and the mental health practitioner in order for it to work.

  4. MYTH
    Therapy only helps if the mental health practitioner went through the same thing I did. If not, they won’t understand. They won’t be able to help.

    FACT
    Therapy allows each individual to gain insight into their situation. Even if the mental health practitioner has not experienced the same situation or feeling you are currently going through, that won’t stop them from being empathetic and non-judgemental. They will be able to guide you and offer techniques, tools, and strategies that will help you depending on your reason for going to therapy. If at any time they think that you would benefit more from attending therapy with someone else, they will refer you to who will help you achieve your end goal more effectively.

  5. MYTH
    People who go to therapy are weak.

    FACT
    People who go to therapy are strong. A lot stronger than those who are experiencing problems and aren’t finding ways to help solve, adjust to, or change their situations. People assume that you are weak because you are asking for help, and asking for help can also be seen as being weak. But think about this… If we don’t ask for help, then how can we get better? How can we learn more? How can we make our lives more manageable or happy? Asking for help takes a lot of courage, but is usually worth it in the end.

  6. MYTH
    Everyone will benefit from therapy

    FACT
    People who attend therapy willingly and are motivated to change will benefit from therapy. Even if people tell you that you should get therapy or if you think a friend, family member, or co-worker could benefit from therapy, if the motivation to change isn’t there, the change won’t happen.

 
There are a lot of myths about attending therapy that causes people to be a bit skeptical about starting their therapeutic journey. Guiding Lanes is here to answer any questions or concerns you might have about therapy. If you have any questions, connect with us when you’re ready. We are here to help!

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