Therapy has made its way off the couch and into mainstream society.
Members of the Kardashian family regularly bring viewers into their private sessions with counselors, broadcasting their private (possibly staged) issues to the world.
This is quite a departure from the classic image of a man spewing his feelings from a couch at an apathetic old man.
Despite more modern, mass publications of the therapeutic process, counseling still seems to have quite an image problem.
People are understandably apprehensive about sharing their feelings with a stranger and being analyzed.
They fear their thoughts will be dissected and judged.
I get where this is coming from. No one likes to be under a microscope, and sharing our feelings makes us exceptionally vulnerable.
But like anything risky, this can be so rewarding.
Here are five common myths about therapy not even reality TV could crush:
1. Therapy is only for crazy people.
So maybe the Kardashians haven’t helped with this myth.
But people go to counseling for many reasons, like breaking up with their boyfriends, relationship issues or being stressed at work.
There are different levels of mental illness and mental healthcare, all of which deserve care and support.
Avoiding therapy because of the stigma is just plain crazy.
2. I can’t afford therapy.
But you can afford four vodka sodas at the bar on Saturday? Uh huh, I believe you.
The reality is, therapy is often covered by your insurance.
Don’t have insurance? Don’t want to use your insurance?
Many therapists offer rates based on a sliding scale (what you make correlates to what you pay) or offer discounted rates for students.
You may also have the option to see a therapist every other week.
You're still getting some of the benefits without totally breaking the bank.
3. I can just talk to my friends about my problems.
Your friends really want you to get a therapist so they don’t have to listen to you anymore.
Kidding. But what your friends do is entirely different from what a trained, educated therapist does.
A therapist can ask you the right questions in order to promote insight and personal growth.
Bonus: A therapy session is all about you. This means the conversation won’t suddenly switch to what happened in Katie’s pilates class yesterday.
4. All therapists are the same.
False. There are a wide variety of therapeutic styles, and personal fits can be extremely important.
Research different types of therapy and find out what works for you.
But don’t reject your therapist after one session.
The first encounter with a counselor can be a lot like a first date, so give yourselves some time to bond and get to know each other.
If it still isn’t working, find a new therapist or ask for a referral.
Therapists know the importance of personal fit, and they are extremely understanding about this.
5. Can’t I just get some pills?
Psychiatry and medications are important and effective for many people.
Unfortunately, some problems just really can't be fixed with medication.
If you're fighting with your partner often and having communication issues, I’m not certain meds are the keys to resolution.
I know we are inclined to pick the quick fix, but talk therapy can help you get to the root of the problem.
Therapy may help you work through that bad breakup way quicker than your friends, family or box of chocolate you just dominated ever could.
So squash the therapy rumors because you may have all the answers.
Maybe you just need someone to ask the right questions.