- Mental Illness Awareness Week is a reflection of Congress acknowledging how important mental health resources and service provision are in the modern world.
- There is a lot of myth and mystery around mental health care – NAMI’s theme of “What I Wish I Had Known” helps to break the silence. Scroll to read through some commonly held myths about therapy and mental healthcare.
- Don’t let “what ifs” keep you out of care. If you have questions about what mental health care looks like, call our office today and ask.
Since 1990, the first week of October has been recognized by Congress as Mental Illness Awareness Week. Through the efforts of NAMI – the National Alliance for Mental Illness – and other advocacy based organizations, this week has become a meaningful time to share resources, elevate voices, and consider our own mental health.
This year, NAMI is organizing MIAW around a theme: “What I Wish I Had Known.” Their webpage currently has three videos uploaded:
- “What I Wish I Had Known” about Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). NAMI will be uploading more content that coincides with topics for each day of the week. Here is one example about anxiety:
- Anxiety – What I Wish People Knew
This week’s topic is “What I Wish I Had Known About Therapy.” In honor of Mental Illness National Awareness Week, we are dedicating this blog to answering common questions and challenging myths around Therapy.
Therapy does not equal Advice
If you are looking for advice, then I suggest reading “Dear Abby.” Your therapist has been trained to work with you and guide you through how you deal with difficult transitions, emotional dysregulation, trauma, and much more, but they are not trained or positioned to give you advice. They help you understand yourself and learn new skills to deal with challenges.
Therapy is Not Linear
While there are many therapy programs out there that market themselves with a time frame (eg. “6 weeks”), therapy is not a linear or necessarily predictable process. Your therapist and you will create a treatment plan that speaks to the initial needs that you came to therapy with. Usually the treatment plan evolves with the client as they identify new areas to work on and heal other areas. Therapy is an investment – not just of money, but of your time and patience.
Yes, we must talk about money. Therapy is a financial investment in yourself, and there are more and more private practices that are willing and able to work on payment plans or sliding scale costs (such as Start My Wellness). Insurance is complicated, but there are as many answers available as there are questions. The basics are – a deductible is the amount that you must pay out of pocket before insurance will pick up the bill. A copay is a cost per visit that you pay each time you receive services. Feel free to call the Start My Wellness office if you have questions about what type of insurance you have.
Therapy is Not a One Size Fits All
Therapy works differently for every person. Do not compare the amount of time, the type of prescriptions, or the number of therapists that you have had to others. Each person has individual needs that are met in unique ways by different therapists over their lifetime. Along the same line, if you meet a therapist and you don’t like working with them, don’t give up on the idea of therapy entirely. Consider what it is you did and did not like and use that to inform your next experience.
Therapists are People Too!
Yes, your therapist has years of training and experience that they bring to their work with you. And at the same time, therapists are people who experience the highs and lows of life the same way that you do. Be understanding if your therapist needs to cancel, change a session time, or set professional boundaries with their work. All of it is in service of them being able to show up as the best therapist that they can be.
While this is not an exhaustive list of myths or common misconceptions, we hope that it was helpful in encouraging you to think about what you wish you had known or what you still would like to know about therapy.
From our office to you, we wish you a meaningful Mental Illness Awareness Week. If you are looking for a good therapist, check out the professionals at startmywellness.com