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Psychology Myths vs Facts Part 1

by S P 4 years ago in therapy

Common Myths

Psychology, even in 2017, tends to remain one of the most underrated aspects of the healthcare system. Psychology teaches you how to think and how to see things from multiple points to view. It helps you to see the situation more clearly.

Psychology is a science, let's get that straight. Let's discuss what psychology is not, to start with.

Thinking That You Don't Need to Communicate Properly Regarding Your Issues with Your Therapist

Psychology might be the study of the mind and behavior, and how they interrelate to each other.That doesn't mean that Psychologists can read your mind! If you do not explain something completely or if you explain it in a way that is dishonest then the fault is yours 100% pure and simple!

Just like everyone on this planet, that doesn't mean that you are responsible for the negative things people have done to you throughout your life. It also doesn't mean that a person without skills, knowledge, and resources is to blame for their actions. Just like any other medical condition, when you are not aware of the root causes, you'll keep repeating the same thing. It is your responsibility though when it comes to properly implementing various things that you talk about with your therapist.

I have close friends, why do I need to see or listen to a therapist?

Having a person who is fully trained in the ins and outs of medical, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical aspects of your situation is 100% essential for any treatment to be effective!

They see your situation differently than you do. They see it from a psychological and medical perspective and you see it from a personal, impartial perspective.

Having healthy relationships is something that people need to be healthy, but just because someone is a friend doesn't mean that they are experts on you and the medical conditions that you have.

Although relationships may come with opinions that benefit you, this is not necessarily the same thing as giving someone else the proper tools and information in order to properly help them with their situation. Friends and family give advice based on opinions, not the actual facts! Opinions and facts are not necessarily the same thing and giving opinions on something that they have either little or no experience with is actually more dangerous than it is helpful. The therapeutic relationship is a one directional professional relationship, usually, when a therapist shares it's for the benefit of the client.

In order to view an issue, you need to first see it from an outside perspective in order to fully understand every aspect of the problem. Any type of advice based on any kind of biases, regardless of the intentions being good or bad, can have a negative effect on the person.

In order to see the proper solution, you need someone who can not just show you but give you the tools to do it yourself. As an example, would you let your buddy take your wisdom teeth out, or would you go to a qualified dentist?

Obviously, you would go to a dentist, but why is it with psychological and mental health issues that we do the polar opposite? We tend to listen to non-professionals too often when it comes to psychological and mental health issues, which causes us more harm than good.

Psychologists are in it just for the money.

A psychology degree, especially when taking a PhD or Masters into account, isn't cheap and requires a lot of commitment from a person who genuinely cares about his/her field. As Howes put it, “if therapists wanted money, we would have gone to business school or law school instead of psychotherapy school.” He added, “Therapists who thrive in this work have a deep respect for humanity and aren’t driven by the almighty dollar.”

Therapy is common sense.

Granted, there is a common sense aspect to it, but it comes with learning about being impartial, learning about analytical and critical thinking, learning behavioural programs, and interventions and many more things. Which take years to understand! Another quote by Howes, “Common sense is wisdom that applies to everyone, but therapy gives insight, which is wisdom unique to you.”

Therapy is too expensive.

It really isn't! There are private therapists that are expensive, yes, but there are equally qualified ones that work with the healthcare system that cost next to nothing or nothing because it's covered under our medical plans, provided by government programs.

Going through psychological issues alone makes you an expert.

As an example, does getting your wisdom teeth pulled make you a dentist? No, it doesn't, going to school and successfully completing dental school and becoming a licensed dentist makes you a dentist.

The same rule applies for Psychological issues. What makes you an expert in something is having the qualifications in order to have a full understanding of it. You need to have an understanding the ins and outs of various treatment methods, and how to effectively apply them. People tend to give advice on matters from their experience dealing with it, rather than what's helpful for the person and although this advice may be given with the best intentions, it may do more harm than good.

It can be just as harmful to your treatment as listening to someone who bases their information on stereotypes and cognitive biases because that's also what they are doing but only from a different perspective.

All therapists are the same.

Not they are not, there are different types of therapeutic styles and methods of therapy. Just as in any other profession, there are people who are better and more effective at certain aspects of their field than others.

Saying all therapists are the same is like saying every cop is the same or every teacher is the same, which is impossible because looks at things through their own eyes and experiences.

Who needs a therapist when I have a prescription?

I'm a firm believer in the pharmaceutical industry and have been grateful for my medication. I would never have been able to accomplish all that I have throughout my life without my ADHD medication. It is a part of an all around treatment plan, involving pharma, yourself, and medicinal and psychological professionals.

Without looking at all the angles of the issue, you are not properly treating yourself and this can lead to other sub issues that'll be intertwined with the original issue and make your situation that much more complicated to treat and diagnose.

Therapy is only for severe issues.

Whoever made the saying “time heals all wounds” obviously never went to university for psychology and never had a real problem in their lives, or has really poor self-awareness skills. Therapy is for minor issues and complicated ones, just like regular doctors.

Not only that, but when you ignore psychological problems small issues can become very big very quickly.

Therapists and doctors are no different than drug dealers.

A lot of mental health issues involve taking a prescription! Just like in any other medical condition, medication is designed to help us with our mental health condition(s). Due to the cognitive biases and one sided documentaries that portray the psychology field as if it's not even a valid form of science, this idea tends to appeal to many people and get high ratings.

My favourite quote from a doctor who writes for The Huffington Post is,

“Media reports highlighting snippets of negative medication research, without considering the larger body of data or clinical experience demonstrating the benefits of these treatments, cause tremendous harm. Fear of medication is endemic, especially for drugs considered to be "brain altering." The ubiquitous headline, "Psychiatric drugs are no more effective than placebo," is utterly false for most patients, but sadly, this belief has permeated our society.

Consequently, psychiatric medications are commonly regarded as dangerous, unnecessary, intolerable or ineffective. Antidrug and antipsychiatry zealots, egged on by irresponsible media reports, have powerfully perpetuated the stigma and burden of mental illness, adding to the weight of hopelessness and shame mentally ill patients already carry.

Psychological issues can be very difficult and complex because of all the different factors that come into play with the person and how the issues are intertwined with their lives. Without the proper training, you are in no way shape or form qualified for giving the proper advice on psychological issues!

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S P

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