Does Going to Psychotherapy Mean You Are "Crazy?"

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A great deal of stigma around mental health issues exists, and with such stigma comes a number of myths. One of these myths is that going to therapy means you are crazy. Unfortunately, this myth has kept countless numbers of people away from services that could be helpful and life changing. This article debunks the myth that going to therapy means you are crazy by explaining exactly what therapy is.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is actually quite simple. It is something that you do for yourself to be more aware, conscious and in the driver's seat of your own life. It involves talking to a mental health professional who is licensed to practice psychotherapy on a regular basis. Many people meet with their therapists once a week for 45 minutes or so; some meet more frequently and others meet less frequently.

Psychotherapy is essentially a conversation with someone who is not in your life otherwise. The focus of the conversation is on you so that you can feel your best. Sometimes therapists ask you what your goals are and sessions are directed at achieving those goals. Other times therapy can be more open-ended, depending on how the therapist works and what feels right for you.

Who is psychotherapy for?

Psychotherapy is really for anyone who wishes to have an objective person to speak with about their lives.

While psychotherapy is offered to people with mental health problems, seeing a therapist does not mean that you are "crazy." It actually means that you are making efforts to live your best life. You are committed to looking at your life on a weekly basis so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and feel your best.

Psychotherapy can help with any number of problems, which include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Conflicts between family members and relationship problems can also be effectively addressed in psychotherapy. Having a third party with more distance from and expertise in whatever problem you are dealing with can be extremely helpful. Psychotherapy can, therefore, save you a great deal of distress and time by helping you solve your problems and find other solutions that you otherwise may be unaware of.

What kinds of Psychotherapy exist?

There are so many different kinds of psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one popular form of therapy that addresses how your thoughts and actions impact your mood and overall state of mind. Psychodynamic therapy, which has a lot of branches in and of itself, is another common approach to therapy which emphasizes insight and self-awareness, particularly on how the past might shape the present, and what to do about that. Other approaches to therapy include Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy, among many others. 

What kind of therapist should I see?

What is more important than what kind of therapist you should see is how you actually feel when you speak with them.

You can read more about choosing the right therapist for you by reading this article. For starters, just know that most people can benefit from some therapy, and it is often crazier not to see a therapist than it is to see one.

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