CJL Blog: Staying Aware

The Insider to Trauma, Substance and Relationships

Mental Health Awareness: Debunking Myths

It is not always an easy task to determine if therapy would be appropriate for you and your family. There are so many possible factors which will prevent you from seeking help from a professional.  Afraid family and friends will make fun of you. Thinking you are “crazy”.  For me, this is the most disturbing statement a person can make. It is not “crazy” to see your primary care doctor when you are feeling ill. It is not “crazy” to see your dentist when you have a toothache. Why does a person need to be degraded when he or she has made a very courageous decision? It is not an easy decision to ask a person to help with a personal problem. Most importantly, it is never easy to reveal deep, dark secrets of the past. I commend anyone who has taken the chance to trust a professional in guiding them to a better version of themselves. 

To understand the effectiveness of treatment. It is important to debunk the many myths associated with being in treatment. Therapy is meant to assist a person in developing the skills needed to live their desired life. Myth One, the therapist will attempt to tell you how to live your life. The objective is to provide you with enough skills to make positive, effective choices.  While sitting in a chair across from a person with letters behind their name. You must understand, there is only one expert in the room. That expert is you. No one else can understand the struggles you have felt. That therapist is there to help sort through the chaos and provide ways to manage inconvenient situations.

Myth Two, all I need are my friends and family. They are my therapist. This not entirely a myth. As a therapist, it is important to know a person has a support system outside of therapy. Someone who is willing to listen and be present during your time of need. Unfortunately, it is important to know the relationship you have developed is a healthy relationship. The individuals in your support system are trust worthy. The effective way to determine that is through therapy. Learning to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Most our friends and family have our best interest at heart, sometimes it is difficult for them to provide the facts and truth for every situation.

Then, how can you trust the perspective of a therapist? Well, it is important to know, ethics are very important to a therapist. We cannot do no harm to our clients/patients.  Therefore, it is always important to remain neutral in any situations. We are highly trained in identifying our bias or transference and discuss these concerns with our supervisors or peers.

Myth three, people will know I see a therapist. I cannot risk it. If in doubt, please remember we follow a code of ethics. Confidentiality is important to the relationship between a therapist and client/patient. The only way your family and friends would learn you are seeing a therapist is if you discuss your session with them. There is a disclaimer with confidentiality. The therapist is obligated to contact authorities if you state you will harm yourself, others, or you are being harmed. The objective is to maintain your mental stability by maintaining your safety.

 If you have other concerns or beliefs you will like to discuss. Please complete a comment below.