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Busting Some Myths about Therapy!

Updated: May 10, 2023

Talk therapy is a well-established and widely used approach to mental health treatment, and yet there's no shortage of misconceptions about it. In my extensive time working with people, I've heard all kinds of untruths about talk therapy, also known to some as psychotherapy. Now it's time to bust some of these myths and set the record straight! Grab your favorite cup of tea or coffee (or water, of course) and settle in as we explore the top 5 talk therapy myths, all while keeping the mood light and playful, yall know how I do! Let's dive in!

Myth 1: Talk Therapy is Just for "Crazy" People

Nope! Let's get this one out of the way right off the bat. Talk therapy is for anyone and everyone – and that includes you, me, and your Auntie Sally who loves sharing cat memes. The truth is that mental health issues are incredibly common, affecting approximately 1 in 5 adults in any given year (NIMH, 2021). No one is immune to life's challenges, and sometimes we need a helping hand to navigate through them.

Talk therapy provides a supportive environment where people can explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with a trained professional. It's not just for those with severe mental health disorders; it can help people struggling with everyday stressors, relationship issues, grief, and much more (APA, 2021). So, let's put this myth to bed and remember that talk therapy is a tool for anyone seeking personal growth and improved mental well-being.

Myth 2: Talk Therapy is Just Venting and Complaining

Sure, venting can be a part of talk therapy, but it's not the whole enchilada. While it can be cathartic to share your thoughts and feelings with a therapist, the process involves much more than just letting off steam (Corey, 2017). Talk therapy is a collaborative effort, where both you and your therapist actively work together to help you develop new insights, coping strategies, and healthier ways of thinking and behaving.

Therapists are skilled at asking thought-provoking questions, offering alternative perspectives, and guiding clients toward meaningful change (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). So while talk therapy might include some venting, it's ultimately about growth, learning, and transformation.

Myth 3: All Talk Therapy is the Same

Picture this: you walk into an ice cream shop, and there's just one flavor – vanilla. Pretty boring, right? Thankfully, talk therapy is more like Baskin-Robbins, with a variety of flavors (or approaches) to suit different needs and preferences (APA, 2021). Some popular talk therapy approaches include:

- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Focuses on identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors (Hofmann et al., 2012).

- Psychodynamic Therapy: Explores unconscious feelings and past experiences to understand current issues (Shedler, 2010).

- Humanistic Therapy: Emphasizes personal growth, self-exploration, and the importance of empathy and understanding (Rogers, 1957).

Each approach has its unique focus and methods, so it's essential to find the one that works best for you. Your therapist can help you choose the right "flavor" of therapy to match your needs, preferences, and goals.

Myth 4: Talk Therapy Takes Forever

While it's true that some types of talk therapy can be more long-term, many approaches are designed to help clients make progress in a relatively short amount of time (APA, 2021). For example, CBT is often a time-limited treatment, with clients typically attending 10-20 sessions (Hofmann et al., 2012).

The length of therapy depends on several factors, including the complexity of the issues being addressed, the goals of therapy, and the specific approach being used (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). It's important to remember that therapy is a journey, and each person's experience will be unique. Some may find resolution in just a few sessions, while others may benefit from a longer commitment to the process.

Talk openly with your therapist about your expectations and goals for therapy. They can help you develop a realistic timeline for your healing journey and make adjustments as needed along the way.

Myth 5: Therapy is Only for Weak People

Oh, please! Seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness; in fact, it's a sign of courage and strength (APA, 2021). It takes guts to face your challenges head-on, explore your inner world, and make meaningful changes in your life.

Everyone needs support sometimes, and there's no shame in asking for help when you need it. Research shows that therapy can be an effective way to improve mental health, cope with stress, and enhance overall well-being (APA, 2021). So let's celebrate the bravery and resilience of those who choose to embark on the journey of self-improvement through talk therapy.

What's a myth that you have heard about therapy?


There you have it – the top 5 talk therapy myths, debunked with a playful twist! Remember, talk therapy is an invaluable tool for personal growth and mental well-being, and it's available to everyone, regardless of the challenges they face. So, let's bust these myths once and for all and embrace the healing potential of talk therapy with open arms.


APA. (2021). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. American Psychological Association.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(5), 427-440.

NIMH. (2021). Mental illness. National Institute of Mental Health.

Norcross, J. C., & Wampold, B. E. (2019). Relationships and responsiveness in the psychological treatment of trauma: The tragedy of the APA Clinical Practice Guideline. Psychotherapy, 56(3), 391-399.

Rogers, C. R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21(2), 95-103.

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98-109.

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