Why Does Therapy Have Such a Stigma?

Why Does Therapy Have Such a Stigma?

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If you have been hesitant to go to counseling, this article may change your mind.

There is a stigma attached to the field of psychotherapy and mental health and it is not deserved. Much of what you think of counseling may be from movies and cartoons. Remember “What about Bob?”?

When you think of counseling, you MAY think:

1. Therapy is weird.
2. Therapists are touchy-feely people who ask you all the time, “how does that make you feel?”
3. Talking about your feelings is not cool or socially acceptable.
4. The therapist will think you’re strange and you’ll be judged by him or her.
5. You have to lie on a couch.
6. Therapy is expensive.
7. Your employer will know you’re in counseling.

NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE!

1. Therapy is just talking about your problems in a private, comfortable setting.
2. People in the therapy field are generally nice, patient, friendly, and empathetic. They generally have a master’s degree and are licensed by the State of New Jersey.
3. Talking with someone about how you feel is not so different than what you do regularly with your friends and family. But the therapist is taught to be compassionate, professional, objective and knowledgeable. A recent study by Psychology Today magazine found that over 50% of the US population has been to therapy and 80% found it helpful.
4. Therapists are well-trained in excellent accredited graduate schools to be non-judgmental, empathic and good listeners. Their job is to listen to you with an open mind and offer help in a calm, professional way. Whatever you tell them is confidential (unless you are suicidal or want to harm others) and you must consent in writing for the therapist to discuss any part of your situation with anyone else.
5. Lying on a couch is a practice from the last century, when psychiatrists had their patients close their eyes and lie down for “analysis”. This is rare today.
6. Your health insurance probably covers most of the cost (but you may have a small copayment, like at your doctor’s office). If you don’t have insurance, many therapists will charge you what you can afford. Also, you do not have to use your insurance and you always have the ability to pay in cash. There are also many private agencies that have affordable mental health care available. Some therapists’ fees are negotiable.
7. Confidentiality laws prohibit employers from asking if their employees are in therapy.

So, get some help and try counseling! Call or text Becker Counseling at 732-406-4422 or go to beckercounseling.com.