What Psychotherapy Is And Is Not

Despite the growing number of individuals who participate in some form of psychotherapy today, a stigma still lingers regarding the process.  Like most industries, therapy has evolved over the years from the early days of Freud's psychoanalyzing and the common practice of lobotomies to the current growing field of evidence-based treatment models.  Even though more of us are accessing therapy-related services, some people remain hesitant to participate in it as a result of the presence of myths and misconceptions.  It is important for clarification about what therapy is today as well as reasons people seek it out.  

First let’s look at what psychotherapy IS NOT:

•    Only people with “serious” issues or who are considered to be “crazy” or “weak” go to                   therapy.
•    All therapists act the same and use the same techniques.
•    If you can just talk to friends, family members, or co-workers then therapy is not necessary.
•    Therapy will only be helpful if the therapist has gone through the same life experiences.
•    Therapy is expensive.
•    Therapy is long-term.

What psychotherapy IS:

•    A safe, supportive, and confidential process in which self-exploration and self-care can take           place.
•    Any technique or intervention that is used to improve an individual’s physical, mental,                     emotional, and interpersonal functioning.
•    Can provide support as a simple sounding board or treatment of serious mental illness. 
•    Anyone can benefit from therapy, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, or level of             functioning.
•    Therapy services are offered at low fee, insurance, and private pay rates. 
•    Therapy can be effective in both short and long-term durations.

Regardless of the specific reasons individuals seek therapy, the benefits of it are staggering. There is simply nothing better we can do than to set aside uninterrupted time to focus solely on ourselves.  

~ Cory Stege, M.S., LMFT