“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Jack Kornfield
Common Myths About Seeking Therapy
As I alluded to in my biography, one of my aims is to educate and dispel stigma related to mental health and seeking therapy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about mental health, emotions, and seeking therapy in our society, so I would like to start by dispelling a few of these myths here…
1) Seeking therapy means I’m weak and unable to tackle my problems on my own.
We live in a culture that values personal independence and self-reliance. Thus, people sometimes view seeking therapy as a sign of dependence or weakness. However, seeking therapy and independence/self-reliance are not mutually exclusive. In fact, seeking therapy can be a stepping stone to greater independence and self-reliance. Allow me to explain… My goal as a therapist is to empower you to see the strength that you may not see in yourself. I also guide and coach you to gain the tools needed to overcome adversity on your own. I do not do this for you. As human beings, we all need a bit of guidance and support at times (even therapists do too!), and there is absolutely no shame in this. In fact, it takes great strength and courage to go to therapy and to face/overcome your inner struggles. Thus, there is no weakness or dependence involved. Also, I encourage my clients to be in charge of their own therapy. I may collaboratively offer recommendations, mentoring, skills, and guidance based on my training background and experience, but it is ultimately your decision to practice and take from that what you believe is best for you.
2) Seeking therapy should be a last resort.
Some people view therapy as a last resort. That is, “Do not seek therapy unless things have gotten really bad!” This is like saying, “Don’t brush your teeth until you have a full-blown cavity!” On the contrary, therapy can be a very helpful and effective preventative measure. In fact, the earlier you seek therapy, the better you will be able to prevent things from getting worse. Therapy is like self-care for the mind. Just like our bodies need ongoing care and attention (e.g., food, sleep, exercise), so too do our minds. Therapy can help provide us greater tools for taking ongoing care of our minds.
3) Therapy is taboo.
Some people perceive the act of going to therapy as against their religious, cultural, or moral beliefs. For example, some cultures hold the belief that emotional problems should be kept private or within the family or religious community. For such individuals, seeking therapy may feel like a betrayal to their families or communities, resulting in attending therapy in secret. Additionally, some therapy activities, such as mindfulness or meditation may be perceived as inconsistent with some people’s beliefs, morals, and values…
If these are concerns of yours, I want you to know that I strive to tailor my therapeutic approaches to YOUR beliefs, morals, and values. I never knowingly impose activities, beliefs, morals, and values that are inconsistent with your own. I also strive to be open and sensitive to the cultural, spiritual, and/or religious beliefs and values of others, and I encourage my clients to communicate openly about this and to continually give me feedback. I also would not discourage you from seeking other forms of support, including from family members, religious communities/leaders, and/or other sources of support.
4) All therapists are the same.
Some people believe that therapy is generic and that all therapists work the same way (e.g., You’ve seen one therapist, you’ve seen them all!). This could not be further from the truth. Like all human beings, each therapist has his/her own unique personality and background. Furthermore, each therapist has their own unique training background and clinical experiences, which can range from psychodynamic approaches to cognitive-behavioral approaches. This is why it is important to find a therapist who is compatible with your personality and individual needs.
In terms of my unique training background and therapeutic approach, I take an eclectic approach, consisting of evidence-based therapies, which I customize to each client’s individual needs and personality. Broadly, I am trained in cognitive-behavioral and contextual behavioral approaches, which generally include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP), and motivational interviewing (MI). I realize these may seem like a lot of big, unfamiliar terms. If you are curious about them, I welcome you to read more about them by visiting the resources page. I would also be happy to tell you about them during one of our first meetings.
The Anxiety Counseling Clinic, P.L.L.C.
1902 Common St., Ste. 300B, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
Copyright © 2019, Tannah Chase, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.