Common Myths about Counseling | Why Counseling is Invaluable

Most of us did not learn how to unconditionally accept ourselves and feel comfortable being vulnerable with others. Many of us have past issues that are unresolved that need a little support in guiding through, while others need help in facilitating a deeper bond with their partner, family and/or friends. Sometimes “going to therapy” can serve as a weekly “check-in” to be attune to emotions and feel balanced.

At Modern Love Counseling, we can understand the fears that come up when one is considering seeking counseling services (read more about what to expect from couples counseling). We think the best practice is to acknowledge the fear (as well as the bravery) that comes with making that initial attempt to reach out to a therapist. We have been on the other side of the therapist’s chair, too! We get it. We would also advise that you schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.

When you discover that not all therapists are the same, you will find that it is crucial to shop around until you find one you fully feel a connection with. You owe it to yourself to feel safe in your own therapy space and we are here to support you in any way that we can, (even if that is helping you find another therapist!)

Below, are a list of myths about counseling, therapy, sex therapy, couples counseling, mental health, etc, that we would like to debunk.

Common Myths About Counseling #1: Counseling is for weak people.

Fact: People who seek counseling are incredibly brave. It requires bravery to look in the mirror and take accountability of your feelings, projections and behaviors. It requires bravery to discover things inside of yourself that are painful, unfair or wrong. People that seek counseling are far from weak and if anything, are so incredibly strong even when they feel weak. People who go through counseling come out the other end with more depth and appreciation for their suffering; they learn to appreciate their resilience in life.

Common Myths About Counseling #2: Therapists are opinionated and focused on “changing” me.

Fact: We can’t speak for all therapists, but this is something we make the most effort with being open to clients about. It’s important for us to bring our authentic selves into sessions, and we collaborate with you on what feels helpful, instead of just giving you our two-cents. Our “opinions” are used as interventions, but we make sure we are open about our intent and process it with you. It has also been in our experience that the word and expectation of “change” is very impactful. If “changing” is not your goal, we do not expect that. We focus more on improving your quality of life and most often that means exposing more of the real you instead of changing the real you.

Common Myths About Counseling #3: Therapy is too expensive.

Fact: Although price may be nerve racking initially, it is important to remember that this is a  temporary investment that can help you significantly in the long run.  Think about how much money we spend on material or superficial things that only offer temporary relief. Therapy is an investment in improving your mental health and relationships for the rest of your life. You also have the right to terminate counseling at any time, so you’ll never be surprised by a hefty bill.

Common Myths About Counseling #4: Couples therapy is for couples that are just about to break up, so what’s the point?

Fact: Although some statistics may differ, 90% of our couples are coming for “preventive” couples counseling instead of waiting until the brink of separation. Many couples come into counseling in hopes of gaining more tools for their (already great) relationship. Many of our couples are eager to deepen their connection and explore levels of intimacy. Many couples are wanting to learn how to avoid separation in the long run.

Common Myths About Counseling #5: Therapists are just advice givers.

Fact: It is our job to help you help yourself. With that said, although suggestions and collaborative interventions may be part of our sessions, the process to fulfilling your goals are not about getting quick advice from us. The process to therapy (individual or couples) takes time and no matter what advice we have to offer, we are patient with you even though we may challenge you. Counseling is more about honoring where you are, not trying to offer you a quick fix.

Common Myths About Counseling #6: Therapy is an awful process and it’s focused on such terrible, painful memories.

Fact: Yes, the process can include heavy emotions and dark memories, but that doesn’t mean our sessions can’t be inspiring, funny, comforting, and/or enlightening. Part of being a team in counseling is navigating through issues at a safe pace and not flooding you with past trauma. Every therapist has a different approach at supporting you with challenging experiences. Some modalities of therapy, such as EMDR confront trauma in a powerful way, but only trained therapists can explore this with you. This is why it is important to research and understand what type of therapy you are desiring. During a free consultation, ask your prospective therapist what kind of therapy they offer. What their style or approach is.

Common Myths About Counseling #7: Couples therapists are going to point blame and give impossible rules to follow. 

Fact: Shame and pointing blame is never part of our process with couples. We also aren’t quick to offer homework immediately, as homework is a very personal experience and needs to be tailored to your specific needs. We want to help you uncover why you and your partner are not connecting, and help you build a new form of understanding and empathy for each other to move forward. As couples therapists, our job is not to take sides or point blame, but rather to kindly hold space for both of you to take ownership of your behaviors. Sometimes you may feel uncomfortable by your couples therapists directness, but it is our job to help the two of you restructure your dynamic in a more loving way. A trained couples therapist can objectively see how the relationship becomes impacted and our intention is to help you both see how your behaviors equally (but differently) are contributing to a negative cycle.

Common Myths About Counseling #8: You need a “reason” to go to counseling.

Fact: Sometimes we just have a natural instinct to seek truth within ourselves and we don’t always know how to describe it. Sometimes people feel burdened by the idea of having a specific “issue” to come into counseling with and it’s important to know that you don’t need one. If you have a desire to seek counseling, but don’t really know why, just tell your prospective therapist that. We are here to support you on your journey in any form that it appears!

Common Myths About Counseling #9: Therapy doesn’t work.

Fact: Well, to be fair, sometimes therapy doesn’t work. Sometimes therapy doesn’t work if your expectations of the process are misguided. There is also truth to therapy not working if you don’t trust/like your therapist or you aren’t ready. Therapy does work when your expectations of the process are loose, when you are ready to confront tough feelings and behaviors with humility, and when you allow yourself to trust the therapist/process.

Common Myths About Counseling #10: All therapy/therapists are the same.

Fact: There is so many different types of therapists out there. We all come from different flocks of life, with our life experiences and our own educations. It’s important to ask your prospective therapist about their education, their views of human behavior and/or their expertise. Check out our specific bios to learn more about how different we are as a small team!