So many people could benefit from therapy, but a good number of them avoid seeing a therapist because they've heard some unfortunate myths. It's important to make decisions based on the truth, so take a look at these misconceptions about therapy that tend to frame it in an undeservedly bad light.

1. Seeing a therapist is something to be ashamed of.

Perhaps you've heard the phrases " there are no dumb questions" and "it's okay to ask for help." These apply to the realm of therapy, too. Basically, when you see a therapist, you are simply admitting that you are a human being and could use some help wading through things. There's nothing to be ashamed of; this is totally normal. It's smart and responsible to admit when you're over your head and ask for assistance.

2. Seeing a therapist isn't any more effective than talking to a friend.

Talking to a friend can be really beneficial when you're going through a tough time. But seeing a therapist is even more beneficial. When you see a therapist, you not only get to unload everything that has been weighing on your mind — you also get to benefit from professional advice on whatever situation you're going through. Your friends might give you advice, but it probably won't be evidence-based advice like that you will get from a therapist.

3. If you did not benefit from seeing one therapist, you won't benefit from seeing another.

Maybe you saw a therapist in the past and it did not do a whole lot for you, so now you've decided "never again." This is not really a fair position. Some people get along better with certain therapists than others. If you did not find a particular therapist beneficial, then you need to see a different therapist, not give up on therapy all together. Different therapists have different approaches and personalities, and it is normal for it to take a little trial and error to find one that's best for you.

4. Therapists will just try to put you on medication.

If you're avoiding therapy because you don't want to be put on antidepressants, then you're misinformed. Only psychiatrists are allowed to prescribe medications, and most therapists are not psychiatrists. Therapists generally rely on non-pharmaceutical methods to manage behavioral and mental challenges. If they believe you may benefit from medication, they may refer you to a psychiatrists, but this is a choice, not a demand.

Which one of these misconceptions were you holding onto? Hopefully you now have a more positive view of therapy and are ready to embrace its benefits. 

To learn more about how therapy can help you, contact a therapist like Donald McEachran, PhD