The stigma of Psychological therapy
Every career has its challenges and perceptions. Psychology is no exception! Unfortunately one of the strengths of the career which is Confidentiality, can often be misconstrued and seen as being “secretive” by clients. Unlike many other careers Psychologists do not boast about what happens in their job (counseling) and many people therefore are either misinformed or draw their own misconceptions about what it means to visit a Psychologist.
Society and the media have also played a part in devaluing the profession. The common misconceptions often heard are “I must be crazy”; “I am too weak to deal with my own issues”; “I must be a failure” and “psychologists do weird things like brain washing” or even as a way of showing disapproval “something is wrong with you, you need therapy”. People also have questions that they are not sure about like “what will others think?”; “what will the Therapist do?”; “what if people see me leaving the office?”; “what if I get labeled?” or “will the Psychologist analyze me?” It is interesting that people do not have any problems visiting a medical doctor if they are feeling ill or a dentist when they have a toothache but when it comes to emotional well-being people often struggle with seeing it in the same light.
Psychologists are professionals who work with individuals (children, adolescents, families and adults) who are going through difficult life-cycle transitions or specific life challenges at the moment. As a Solution Focused Therapist I work from the view that clients are the most knowledgeable experts regarding their own lives, knowing what works and how they have coped with challenges before. As a Psychologist I help facilitate clients to build on their own strengths and resources to solve their current life challenges. Information that is shared during the session is kept confidential as this is a way of showing the client respect and honoring their trust they have placed in talking about an issue that is currently sensitive for them. It is vitally important that people are acknowledged for the difficulties they are facing in order for them to get the assistance they need. Ignoring the challenges and difficulties lead to more problems and clients feeling worthless, stuck and defeated and often will lead to people trying alternatives to address the issues which can have a negative effects on their lives.
STOP the STIGMA and SAVE a LIFE!