Making the decision to see a therapist is a great first step towards improving your happiness and quality of life. For some people, seeking therapy can also be intimidating. If you’ve never worked with a therapist before, you might not know what to expect. In fact, many people share these common misconceptions about therapy and the role of a therapist.
My Therapist is Going to Tell Me What To Do
Some people believe they will explain their problem to their therapist and the therapist will provide a solution that will solve everything. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.
A therapist-client relationship focuses on giving you the skills to help you help yourself. You are the expert of your own life. Your therapist will work with you to discover steps you can take to make the improvements you want to see. A therapist does this by:
- Offering an objective perspective
- Pointing out some of your blind spots
- Highlighting emotions and giving you methods to process them
- Suggesting alternative answers and solutions
- Asking questions to provoke ideas you may not previously have considered
While your therapist won’t be able to give you a single answer to all your problems, they will give you the expertise to help yourself. Therapy is a learning process that gives you the confidence to handle experiences you find difficult.
If I’m Not Depressed, Therapy Won’t Help Me
Another misconception is that therapy is only useful for people who are depressed, unhappy, or have a diagnosable mental health issue. In fact, therapy can be useful for anyone. Whatever your goals, a therapist can work with you to meet them. Many people seek out therapy to improve their quality of life, become stronger communicators, or strengthen their relationships.
When you work with a therapist, they will offer perspectives on your problems that you might not have considered. They can ask questions to help you discover new answers and point out things you might have missed.
Therapists Will Make Me Talk About My Mom
It’s possible that your relationship with your family and stories of your past will come up in therapy. But many therapies are actually future-focused. Psychodynamic theory, which is where the stereotype about mother/child relationships came from, is no longer the therapy of choice. Some people do have struggles with their parents that are worthy of discussion, but no, therapy will typically not be focused only on your early childhood experiences with your mom.
A Therapist Will Judge Me
Some people might feel embarrassed discussing personal thoughts and feelings. Sharing with a therapist can be a vulnerable experience. It is important to remember that your therapist is not there to judge you. Most therapists will strive to help you become the person you want to be regardless of where you are now.
Since they have no personal investment with your experiences, therapists provide an objective perspective. They are able to see the big picture of problems you might be experiencing. This allows them to see things you might have missed and prompt you to consider your problems in new ways. They are not there to judge your actions or thoughts.
Therapy can be a powerful step to take in your life. If you’re ready to take that step or if you want more information about the therapy relationship, contact Long Island Psychology.