Common Misconceptions About Psychotherapy
Some ideas about therapy show up so typically in fiction I find myself wondering how many writers are using them deliberately and how many just don't realize they're inaccurate. Listed here are six of the most typical, along with some data on more standard current practice.
1. You lie on a sofa
Reality: Remedy shoppers do not lie on a sofa; some therapists' offices don't even have couches.
So the place did this come from? Sigmund Freud had his patients lie on a sofa so he could sit in a chair behind their heads. Why? No deep psychological reason -- he just did not like people looking at him.
There are a lot of reasons modern remedy shoppers would not be pleased with this. Imagine telling someone about tough or embarrassing experiences and not only not being able to see them, but having them react with silence. Why on earth would you want to go back?
The best therapeutic setup, and so they actually train this in graduate school, is to have each chairs turned inward at a few 20 degree angle(give or take about 10 degrees), usually with 8 or 10 ft between them. Often the therapist and the shopper find yourself facing one another because they turn toward each other of their chairs, however with this setup the consumer does not really feel like s/he's being confronted.
Even if there is a couch within the room, the therapist's chair will nearly invariably be turned at an angle to it.
2. Therapists analyze everybody
Reality: Therapists do not analyze people any more than the average person, and sometimes less often.
Ironically, only folks trained in Freud's make-the-affected person-lie-on-the-couch-and-free-affiliate-about-Mom approach (aka psychoanalysis) are taught to research at all. All different therapists are taught to understand why individuals do things, nevertheless it takes loads of energy to figure people out. And to be very frank, while therapists are usually caring folks who want to help their purchasers, in day-to-day life they're coping with their own issues and don't necessarily have the time or house to care about everybody else's problems or behaviors.
And the final thing most therapists wish to hear about of their spare time is strangers' problems. Therapists get paid to deal with different individuals's problems for a reason!
3. Therapists have sex with their shoppers
Reality: Therapists never, ever, ever have intercourse with their shoppers, or the buddies or family members of shoppers, if they need to keep their licenses.
That features sex therapists. Intercourse therapists do not watch their purchasers have intercourse, or ask them to experiment in the office. Intercourse therapy is usually about educating and addressing relationship problems, since these are two of the commonest reasons folks have sexual problems.
Therapists aren't purported to have sex with former shoppers, either. The rule is that if years have passed and the former client and therapist run into each other and in some way hit it off (ie this wasn't planned), the therapist won't be thrown out of professional organizations and have licenses revoked. But in most cases different therapists will nonetheless see them as suspect.
The reasoning behind this is simple -- therapists are to listen and assist without involving their own points or wants, which creates a power differential that's troublesome to overcome.
And fact be told, the roles therapists play of their offices are only aspects of who they really are. Therapists focus all of their consideration on shoppers with out ever complaining about their own considerations or insecurities.
When folks think they need to be mates, they normally need to be buddies with the therapist, not the individual, and a real friendship involves sharing energy, and flaws, and taking care of each other to some extent. Attending to know a therapist as a real individual will be disenchanting, because now they wish to discuss themselves and their own points!
4. It is all about your mom (or childhood, or past...)
Reality: One branch of psychotherapeutic idea focuses on childhood and the unconscious. The rest don't.
Psychodynamic principle kept Freud's psychoanalytic perception that early childhood and unconscious mechanisms are vital to later problems, however most trendy practitioners know that we're exposed to plenty of influences in day-to-day life which might be just as important.
Some therapists will flat-out tell you your previous is not necessary if it is not directly related to the current problem. Some believe intensive discussion of the previous is an try to escape accountability (Gestalt remedy) or maintain from actively working to alter (some types of cognitive-behavioral idea). Some imagine that the social and cultural environments we live in at this time are what cause problems (systems, feminist, and multicultural therapies).
5. ECT is painful and used to punish bad patients
Reality: Electro-convulsive therapy (previously, called electro-shock treatment) is a rare, last-resort treatment for purchasers who have been out and in of the hospital for suicidality, and for whom more traditional treatments, like medicines, haven't worked. In some cases, the client is so depressed she can't do the work to get higher until her brain chemistry is working more effectively.
By the point ECT is a consideration, some shoppers are wanting to try it. They've tried everything else and just need to feel better. When dying seems like your only different option, having somebody run a painless current by your brain while you are asleep doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
ECT is not painful, nor do you jitter or shake. Sufferers are given a muscle relaxant, and because it's horrifying to really feel paralyzed, they're also briefly placed under basic anesthesia. Electrodes are often attached to only one side of the head, and the present is launched in brief pulses, causing a grand mal seizure. Doctors monitor the electrical activity on a screen.
The seizure makes the brain produce and use serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all brain chemical substances that are low when somebody is depressed. Some individuals wake up feeling like a miracle has occurred. Several periods are often required to maintain the modifications, and then the individual may be switched to antidepressants and/or different medications.
ECT isn't any more harmful than another procedure administered under normal anesthesia, and lots of the potential side effects (confusion, memory disturbance, nausea) could also be as much a results of the anesthesia as the remedy itself.
6. "Schizophrenia" is the same thing as having "a number of personalities"
Reality: Schizophrenia is a biological disorder with a genetic basis. It normally causes hallucinations and/or delusions (robust concepts that go against cultural norms and are not supported by reality), along with a deterioration in normal day-to-day functioning. Some people with schizophrenia become periodically catatonic, have paranoid thoughts, or behave in a disorganized manner. They could speak strangely, changing into tangential (wandering verbally, usually in a approach that does not make sense to the listener) using nelogisms (made up words), clang associations (rhyming) or, in excessive cases, producing word salads (sentences that sound like a bunch of jumbled words and may or will not be grammatically correct).
Dissociative Identity Dysfunction (formerly a number of personality disorder) is caused by trauma. In some abusive conditions, the traditional defense mechanism of dissociation may be used to "cut up off" recollections of trauma. In DID, the break up also contains the a part of the "core" personality connected to that memory or collection of memories. The dissociated id usually has its own name, traits, and quirks; and should or may not age on the same rate as the rest of the personality (or personalities), if it ages at all.
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