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Misconceptions about Professionals

There are quite a bit of myths that are associated with getting help and that surround mental health in general. So what are the weirdest things that you have heard?


In Order for Therapy to be successful, you have to have a breakdown in each session.


I heard this one off my bestfriend. It was more or less along the lines of:

"Have you broken down in your sessions?"


"Then how do you know that the pysch is helping you?"


Seriously, this is so not the case!


You need to know the answer to everything they ask.


Wrong! You so do not. If you knew the answer to everything then you wouldn't need help, would you? Okay, maybe you would, but that is not the point. They are asking these questions to help diagnose you in the first place and to make you think about stuff. How else are you going to get better?


How does that make you feel?


I can honestly say that in all the sessions that I have had with a psych, that I have never been asked this question. This just might be my individual experience, but sessions are definitely not at all like Hollywood depicts them.


Please add some more misconceptions that you can think of that someone else might find useful of any pro that you might see for treatment. Smiley Happy


Remember, therapy isn't all that scary.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

GREAT topic.... I have definitely heard the ones you have mentioned... One thing that I have heard a lot is the idea that in counseling you spend the whole time looking back into the past rehashing all the traumatic things that have happened. I always try and counter that idea with two things. First, you are in the drivers seat - you control what you talk about. Second, the fact that counseling is very much about looking forward and giving you the tools to cope with live better!

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Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

So true! They always ask if it is okay to talk about a touchy topic and tell you that it is okay if you don't want to and you can back out at any time.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

Some of the counselling myths I've heard (or believed myself at some point in the past!!):


* You will cry. It doesn't help that every time you see a counselling session on TV or in a movie, someone is crying and there's a big box of tissues.  But the fact is, you may cry, you may not. The counsellor isn't going to try to MAKE you cry! But they are not going to mind if you do cry either.


* The counsellor is going to try to pin all your problems on your childhood/your parents. Actually, the counsellor I see now doesn't ever really want to talk about my past. She wants to talk about what's happening now and what I can do to make things better in the future! Sometimes I want to navel gaze about things that happened when I was a kid, but she always trys to drag me back to the present!


* The counsellor is going to try to break up your relationship. I've heard this from people who were fearful about going to couples counselling or where one partner was going to counselling and the other partner was nervous about it. In my experience, this is just not true. The counsellor will ask you questions about your relationship, for sure. But really they're going to try to get YOU to think about what's going on, and make your own decisions. Maybe you'll decide to breakup, maybe you'll decide to stay together. Or maybe you'll decide that your relationship isn't the thing you want to work on at all, and it's something else in your life that needs fixing.  Bottom line is - the counsellor just counsels. YOU'RE the one in charge of making your own decisions.


Hope that helps someone out there! Smiley Happy

PS - this was a great topic, @stonepixie!



Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

great topic and i feel like it should be easier to think aboit the misconceptions out there! 

But i cant... so give me some time.

One of my favourite lines is " can they read your mind... Dont they already know the answer to your problem?"


Ahhh no... everyone goes to therapy for different reasons and theres no way the therapist could possibly have all the answers! 

They have strategies and ways of helping Smiley Wink

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

Hey @EloiseRose that sorta reminds me of Anchorman 2 where the new husband is a psychologist and Ron Burgundy keeps confusing him with a psychic! I wonder if that's still a misconception for anyone, especially people who were around in the 70s!

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

Im dont think this is a myth but before going to my psych my good friend said she felt judged and hated the experience. My other two friends that go regularly told me therapy doesnt help that much though they continue to go because they need to.


Ive only been to 5 sessions a few years ago and it was one of the most helpful things and dare I say an amazing experience. For me it was so comforting to have someone that understand why I was the way I was and explain that to me.

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

@standinside Sometimes people feel like their counselor is judging them, because not all counselors are right for everyone. Same with your other two friends, perhaps who they are seeing isn't right for them which is why it isn't helping them.

Also, I love your username. It reminds me of a favourite scene in the Legend of the Guardians movie, the owl one when he flies through the storm in slow motion. It's beautiful. Smiley Happy

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and the like rarely tell people what to do in terms of breaking up or staying with someone, all they generally do is guide and help you come your own decision.

As for Counsellors taking the client back to childhood, they would only do this if it was absolutely necessary otherwise they generally guide and help the client with issues they are having in the present.

I can't say I've cried in a Counsellor's office though I have lost it in a Psychiatrist's office once or twice but that's when I've been severely depressed and no other reason.

The myth I'd like to mention is that some people seem to have this belief that mental health or disability support professionals have this super power to make things all better as if they have a magic wand or something and they get all angry or annoyed when it doesn't happen like that...I know I've been guilty of having this mentality.

The reality is that these professionals are not God or any other super natural force that will make everything better with a magic wand, they are here to help and guide a person either on a temporary or permanent basis and that it is the person's responsibility to meet them half way in terms of getting better and getting their lives on track.

Re: Misconceptions about Professionals

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Yes it is on the cards, but it hasn't even past the senate yet (unless the new senate has passed it today). Even if it had passed the senate, it wouldn't come into effect until 1st July 2015.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ