Misconceptions regarding seeking therapy

Gauri Shinde’s recent movie Dear Zindagi brings to the forefront the taboo subject of mental health and seeking therapy. Millennial Alia Bhatt going into therapy with the suave and charming Shahrukh Khan inspired many to seek out the help that they need. In a country like India where issues about mental health is still hushed up and anyone taking professional help is considered crazy, people often live on with their problems to avoid the stigma. Though the present generation is much more confident about seeking counseling or therapy, their parents are less accepting and the society at large scoff at the idea of it. For people to be more open to therapy it is important to dispel the numerous misconceptions surrounding it.

  • Seeking therapy means you are crazy, broken or damaged –You are not. People going into counseling are often labeled as being mentally unstable. Sometimes they themselves too think that they need therapy only if they are crazy or emotionally damaged. And this is what stops most people. But therapy will only give you the strength to cope with the problems in life and overcome your fears and insecurities. It helps you utilize the tools at your disposal to lead a more fulfilling life.
  •  Therapy can help everyone –It can only help someone who is open to change. Your therapist will help you challenge your beliefs and thoughts, your ways and behaviors but it is up to you to be willing to do your own work and heal yourself.
  • Therapy only works if you are in pain –Therapy often deals with pain and loss but you don’t necessarily have to be in misery to visit a therapist. It’s mainly about acquiring a better understanding of yourself and others. Therapy gives you a new perspective on life and equips you with coping skills to deal with whatever unpleasant or difficult thing life throws at you and come out stronger.
  • Therapy inevitably require blaming your parents –We have come light years ahead of the psychoanalytical days of Freud and every problem is no more about our parents and childhood issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on your specific problems and your response to it. Nevertheless, questions on your parents, family and background help the therapist know and understand you better.
  • A therapist will agree with you just to make you feel better –A therapist’s job is not to placate the client by agreeing with everything he or she says. Instead, a therapist would challenge your ideas and thinking to help you grow and move forward life. They are trained to recognize the blind spots in a client’s narrative and help them explore those missing links to bring them to a new level of consciousness.
  • Therapy gives results right away –Many people are under the impression that you’ll feel the difference in one or two sessions but that’s the time needed to know the client and establish a sense of trust and rapport. Then therapy essentially begins. The initial phase can be a little overwhelming as you go over the hard things faced in life but eventually feelings and thoughts start getting sorted. And the main work has to be done in between the sessions when you need to apply what you learn in real life.

Educate yourself about the realities of therapy and uncover your inner strength to cope with the challenges that arise in life.

Mekhla Gan

About Mekhla Gan

"The whole world opened to me when I learned to read" and I have been hooked to it ever since. Suspending my own life, cocooning in someone else's imagination and in the process, living a thousand lives is for me the most exhilarating way of experiencing life. Books are what I turn to in my happy and not so happy times for it is in them that I find the words for what I have known all along..
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