Breaking Down the Myths: A Teen's Guide to Understanding and Starting Therapy
Updated: Aug 4
As a teenager, you may be facing a lot of challenges as you navigate the ups and downs of growing up, from stress and anxiety to relationship problems and feelings of uncertainty. And if someone is suggesting that you consider trying out therapy as a way of helping, you might be feeling unsure or intimidated by things you’ve heard and the views of other people; so it's perfectly understandable if you have some misgivings! But actually, lots of these views turn out to be misconceptions and false assumptions and hopefully after reading this article you will feel confident in being able to spot them.
Finding the right therapist can make all the difference in your therapy experience. The relationship between you and your therapist is a key factor in your progress and wellbeing, and it is important that this relationship is built on trust, understanding, and mutual respect. Therapists are people too, and just as you probably don’t get along with every single person you ever meet, there’s no guarantee that every single therapist would feel like a good fit for you. When you find the right therapist for you, you feel heard and understood, and they can help you increase your self-awareness, along with providing you with personalized tools and skills you can use to navigate the ups and downs of life.
With the right therapist by your side, you can work towards your goals and build a stronger, more confident, and self-assured you. The therapeutic relationship should feel safe and empowering, and it should help you feel confident in your ability to grow and make positive changes in your life - don't be afraid to ask questions, share your concerns, or express your thoughts and feelings. So don't be afraid to seek out a therapist who feels like the right fit for you and look for alternatives if the first one you meet doesn’t hit the mark - you deserve to have the right supportive and caring person on your team as you work towards a better tomorrow!
It's completely normal to feel anxious or uncertain about the idea of starting therapy for the first time, especially if you're unsure what to expect. The unknown can be scary and opening up to a stranger about personal struggles and emotions can feel intimidating and daunting. Some people may worry about being judged or misunderstood, or feel that their problems aren't significant enough to warrant help. Others may feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help.
It's important to remember that these fears and concerns are normal, and that they can be addressed and overcome with the support of a compassionate and understanding therapist. The goal of therapy is to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for people to work through their challenges and develop a better understanding of themselves, to grow in their personal journeys. With the right therapist, therapy can be a transformative and healing experience.
Unfortunately, there are many false assumptions about therapy that can make it difficult for teens to feel comfortable seeking help. But the truth is that lots of these assumptions couldn't be further from the truth. Here are some of the common myths about therapy:
Myth #1: Therapy is only for people with serious mental health problems.
The truth is, therapy is for anyone who wants to work through their emotions and improve their well-being. Whether you're struggling with a specific issue, or simply looking to gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you, therapy can be a valuable tool.
Myth #2: Therapy is a long and drawn-out process that takes forever.
While some forms of therapy may take longer than others, the length of therapy is ultimately up to you. Your therapist will work with you to set achievable goals and develop a plan for your journey, but the ultimate goal is for you to feel better, faster.
Myth #3: Talking to a stranger about your personal problems is weird or embarrassing.
While it can be intimidating to open up to someone you've just met, your therapist is a trained professional who is there to support you, not judge you. Therapy is a personalized and supportive process that provides you with a safe and non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Myth #4: Going to therapy means you’re weak.
With the guidance of a trained therapist, you can develop a better understanding of yourself, learn coping skills, and make positive changes in your life. Seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and a proactive step towards taking control of your mental and emotional well-being…it’s a sign of bravery!
To put it all simply, the right therapy experience helps the fear and uncertainty that you may be feeling about the process give way to growth, self-discovery, and a sense of empowerment. So don't let any myths or misconceptions hold you back from exploring what therapy can do for you - remember, you're not alone in this journey, and there is always help available for you to grow and thrive.