#1: Therapy will "fix" your problems
The Truth: Therapy will help you learn more about how to navigate your mental wellness and help you understand yourself better. Therapy is NOT a space to walk in and be "fixed". You don't need to be fixed- you need to unlearn, learn, and process.
This misconception means that somehow our emotions, thoughts, and feelings are linear.
If this were the case, I think we would "reboot" and then everything would somehow be "normal" again- but we are humans not computers. Our healing, discovery, and adaptations take time.
#2: Every therapist is the same.
The Truth: Our life experiences are different & that is great! That means there are therapists out there who will fit your vibe and ones who won't. Even our knowledge in certain topics is different.
If one therapist doesn't work for you- try a different one! Reflect on "what was it I didn't like about their style or approach to therapy?" and use that information to find someone that may take on your therapy goals differently. I tell every client I meet with at the end of session 1- "I understand my approach does not fit everyone's needs, after this hour, how are you feeling about continuing together? If you prefer someone with a different style I can try to refer you to someone so you are receiving the support you deserve." This normalizes the idea that yes, some people might like my transparent, open, collaborative and curious style of therapy- Not everyone does though. Providing client's with a choice also empowers them to get the support they deserve- rather than trying to stick it out with a therapist they don't really vibe with. Everyone deserves to have the mental health support that fits their vibe & needs.
Always ask the therapist you are looking to meet with if they have experience with the type of goals & topics you want to process in therapy. If over time you slowly realize that you two are not a good fit- think about bringing it up. Most new-age & rockstar therapists are more concerned with you being able to get the support that works for you and are less concerned about any personal reasoning behind why you want someone different. The therapeutic alliance is a special bond that does not work if you force it! (just like any relationship you have in life- *cough cough*)
#3: Therapy is only for when you are in crisis.
The Truth: While therapy can support people in crisis (depending on the services people offer- for example, Koger Counseling does not provide crisis support or crisis management services); Therapy is a tool for LIFE. Building self-awareness, unlearning, learning, and healing through therapy work can happen at any stage of life.
Therapy is most helpful when you are ready to commit to your therapy goals.
Here are some Crisis Hotlines:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day: Phone #: 800-273-8255
Trevor Project- 24-hour hotline focusing on supports for LGBTQ young people in crisis: Phone #: 888-488-7386
Trans Lifeline- Peer support hotline for transgender people experiencing a crisis. Phone #: 877-565-8860
#4: Therapy is expensive.
The Truth: Perspective is everything. Your mental health is a priceless part of your life. There is a wide range of options for services at ANY budget.
When you are looking for a therapist you need to reflect on two things: what is my budget for weekly therapy & who meets specific needs (eg. accepts my insurance, provides in-person services/tele-therapy services, understands my presenting topics, etc). The reason I am usually mostly full is because I meet these criteria for specific people's budgets & needs and we form a lasting therapeutic relationship that helps get them to their unique goals.
I have an extensive network of therapists I am connected to- and all of them have different options for pay & insurance. The main thing to think about is if the therapist fits your budget AND you connect with naturally. Granted, connecting takes time because trust is not made in a day. These two things are essential to one of the main reasons therapy can be successful: consistency.
If I am not the right fit, try these search engines for alternative options:
If you live in Washington, feel free to contact me to inquire about my practice & services!
You might be reading this blog for educational reasons, or maybe you were bored before a session you have with me, or you are looking for ways to take the hardest step & reach out to a therapist. Whatever brought you to this article, I want you to leave knowing that there ARE resources out there for you!! You just have to look for them.
Latinx Therapy- Culturally Attuned & Bi-lingual Therapists: https://latinxtherapy.com/
Open Path Collective-Affordable Counseling: https://openpathcollective.org/
WA Therapy Fund- Empowering People of Color: https://therapyfundfoundation.org/
Psychology Today, Good Therapy, and Mental Health Match also all have search engines to look for a therapist that might fit your requirements!
Cover photo by: Austin Chan, Information Photo by Simone Ebright