10 Wrong Things People Assume About Psychotherapy

1. A therapist can give a person a reason for living.

2. Merely talking — regardless of what the talk is about, or the ideas underlying it — is enough to improve or solve problems.

3. A therapist is just like a friend or family member.

4. Therapy reduces symptoms of emotional distress without discovering the underlying causes of the distress, and it does so almost immediately.

5. A person can emotionally benefit from therapy without having to identify, and seek to change, contradictions in his thinking/behavior.

6. A therapist is like “Mother Teresa,” selfless and without concern for anything material or this-worldly; a therapist has no life.

7. A therapist makes his client lie down on a couch .

8. A therapist takes notes.

9. A therapist prescribes medication and has medical knowledge — when in reality, a therapist has a Ph.D. or a Master’s degree, not a medical degree.

10. A therapist can “talk” an irrational or self-defeating person “into” being the opposite, when that person does not want to be rational or self-interested.