Myths About Psychotherapy That Have Been Debunked - Step To Health

Myths About Psychotherapy That Have Been Debunked

There are many myths about the effects of psychotherapy. However, most of them have already been disproved. Learn about them in this article!
Myths About Psychotherapy That Have Been Debunked

Last update: 26 November, 2021

I don’t go to a psychologist because I’m not crazy.” This is perhaps one of the most widespread myths about psychotherapy. We hear it often, for example, after advising a friend to seek psychological help. However, it’s not the only false belief surrounding mental health consultations.

Unfortunately, since ancient times, many myths have been instilled in society about this subject. The truth is that therapy is a space of enrichment, which provides accompaniment and strategies to increase well-being in everyday life.

Let’s learn a little more about it.

Myths and truths about psychotherapy

Nowadays, many erroneous beliefs about psychological therapy have been demolished. Still, some myths persist about how it works and its effects. As a result, many people don’t access this care to address their problems and improve their mental health.

What are the most common myths about psychotherapy?

Let’s take a look.

1. “Psychotherapy is for crazy people.”

This myth hides two fundamental errors. One of them has to do with the stigmatization of mental illness. Some people simply consult therapists for everyday problems, such as difficulties in socializing, taking an exam, getting to sleep, and other issues.

On the other hand, it’s often believed that all people who consult for psychotherapy have some problem, and this is not necessarily so. Some do it to work on the positive aspects they already have or are interested in deepening their self-knowledge.

Ultimately, it’s also common to hear that psychologists are those who are crazy and that they choose this profession to solve their problems. False! The only true thing is that professionals also learn tools and resources that they can apply in their lives from years of study and learning.

Mitos y verdades sobre la psicoterapia
It ‘ important to dispel common myths about psychotherapy. This, in general, is a tool that helps to promote well-being.

2. “A stranger won’t  be able to help me.”

Although at the beginning the therapist is a stranger, with time, a therapeutic relationship begins to be built, based on trust, empathy, open listening, and professional ethics.

In this sense, it’s also a good idea to highlight that this “stranger” has a theoretical background and tools regarding multiple topics. Therefore, they can help concerning the reason for the consultation or the discomfort of the person who comes to therapy.

3. “They always just go back to the past and your childhood.”

It’s important to understand that therapists need a framework and a context to understand and get to know their patients. This involves asking questions and addressing issues related to upbringing, childhood, and relationships, among others.

However, the focus is not always on that stage of life. In fact, many psychology and types of therapy schools only address this topic in the initial interview and at some other time, only if necessary.

4. “In psychotherapy sessions, only the patient talks.”

This is not true. Some currents encourage their therapists to intervene more than others. In any case, each time that the therapist intervenes, she or he does it according to the usefulness that their commentary may have.

Thus, it’s not a matter of strictly following the premise of intervening or not intervening, but rather evaluating according to what’s happening at the moment of the session. In many cases, depending on the patient, different types of techniques are applied, such as the empty chair method and role-playing, among others.

5. “In psychotherapy, they tell you what to do.”

Patients do not have a passive role in therapy. In fact, quite the opposite: they’re expected to commit themselves to the therapeutic space and be oriented towards change. This implies that they should assume an active and responsible role and participate in what the professional in charge proposes.

In this case, the aim is not to tell them what to do but to provide some guidelines, advice, or points of view so that the patients can decide what is best for them. Therapists do not seek to create a relationship of dependency. They’re interested in that the person learns to reflect, observe themselves, and acquire coping resources.

6. “Therapy lasts for years.”

This is another of the common myths about psychotherapy.

In reality, this is not necessarily the case. Some therapies are more focused than others, and that determines certain therapeutic goals throughout a few sessions. Then, the patient is discharged.

Some, perhaps, are more extensive. Despite this, the person can choose the one they feel is most appropriate.

We think you’ll like to read: 6 Keys to Close Cycles and Move Forward in Life

The benefits of psychotherapy

As stated in an article published in Neurotherapeutics, evidence-based psychotherapies effectively support the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric conditions. In addition, their benefits include the following:

  • Deepening our self-knowledge
  • Improving self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Discovering the reasons why we have certain behaviors
  • Learning to face conflicts healthily
  • Improving our relationships
  • Developing social skills and learning to set limits
  • Facing and solving problems of all kinds (work, vocational, relational, family, etcetera)

Ultimately, psychotherapy seeks to promote a state of well-being in the person to improve their quality of life.

Beneficios de la psicoterapia
Psychotherapy aids in self-awareness and the development of skills to cope with various life situations.

We think you’d like to read: Seven Tips to Discover Your True Passion

In which cases can psychotherapy be useful?

Starting psychotherapy doesn’t t have to be associated with having a problem, but quite the opposite! Often, an early approach allows an intervention in time, which prevents a situation from escalating and becoming bigger.

It even allows managing everyday problems that seem unimportant at the moment. Therefore, it’s good to consider this type of therapy as a useful space for self-care.

Psychotherapy is not synonymous with having problems

In general, it’s best that we promote a positive vision of what psychotherapy represents. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with having problems or questions and asking for help to solve them. This doesn’t make us weak, but rather the opposite: it allows us to become stronger by identifying what we need.

Secondly, going to a psychologist can be a lifestyle choice that allows us to be in greater contact with ourselves. It’s a space that can enable us to achieve true personal development and fulfillment.

It might interest you...
8 Useful Tips to Be an Independent Person
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
8 Useful Tips to Be an Independent Person

To be an independent person, it's necessary to let go of personal ties that limit you. Learn more in this article!

  • Etchevers, Martin, González, María Magdalena, Sacchetta, Luisina María, Iacoponi, Cristina, Muzzio, Gabriela y Miceli, ClaudioMarcelo (2010). Relación terapéutica: su importancia en la psicoterapia. II Congreso Internacional de Investigación y Práctica Profesional en Psicología XVII Jornadas de Investigación Sexto Encuentro de Investigadores en Psicología del MERCOSUR. Facultad de Psicología – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.
  • Campo Redondo, María Susana (2004). Epistemología y Psicoterapia. Opción, 20(44),120-137.[fecha de Consulta 11 de Noviembre de 2021]. ISSN: 1012-1587. Disponible en:
  • Cook SC, Schwartz AC, Kaslow NJ. Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Advantages and Challenges. Neurotherapeutics. 2017;14(3):537-545. doi:10.1007/s13311-017-0549-4
  • Santibáñez Fernández, Patricia Macarena, & Román Mella, María Francisca, & Vinet, Eugenia V. (2009). Efectividad de la psicoterapia y su relación con la alianza terapéutica. Interdisciplinaria, 26(2),267-287.[fecha de Consulta 11 de Noviembre de 2021]. ISSN: 0325-8203. Disponible en: