Frequent Misconceptions About Psychotherapy

Frequent Misconceptions About Psychotherapy

Some concepts about therapy show up so typically in fiction I find myself wondering how many writers are utilizing them deliberately and how many just don't realize they're inaccurate. Listed below are six of the commonest, along with some information on more commonplace present practice.

1. You lie on a sofa

Reality: Therapy shoppers don't lie on a couch; 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 might sit in a chair behind their heads. Why? No deep psychological reason -- he just did not like people looking at him.

There are a variety of reasons modern remedy shoppers wouldn't be pleased with this. Imagine telling somebody about tough or embarrassing experiences and not only not being able to see them, however having them react with silence. Why on earth would you want to go back?

The ideal therapeutic setup, they usually truly train this in graduate school, is to have both chairs turned inward at about a 20 degree angle(give or take about 10 degrees), often with eight or 10 toes 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 client does not feel like s/he's being confronted.

Even when there is a sofa 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 individuals any more than the common individual, and generally less often.

Ironically, only folks trained in Freud's make-the-affected person-lie-on-the-sofa-and-free-associate-about-Mother approach (aka psychoanalysis) are taught to research at all. All different therapists are taught to understand why folks do things, however it takes a number of energy to determine folks out. And to be very frank, while therapists are normally caring of us who wish to assist their clients, in day-to-day life they're dealing with their own issues and don't necessarily have the time or area 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 cope with other individuals's problems for a reason!

3. Therapists have sex with their shoppers

Reality: Therapists never, ever, ever have intercourse with their purchasers, or the buddies or members of the family of purchasers, if they want to preserve their licenses.

That includes intercourse therapists. Sex therapists do not watch their shoppers have sex, or ask them to experiment in the office. Intercourse therapy is commonly about educating and addressing relationship problems, since these are two of the commonest reasons folks have sexual problems.

Therapists aren't presupposed to have intercourse with former shoppers, either. The rule is that if two years have passed and the previous consumer and therapist run into each other and in some way hit it off (ie this wasn't deliberate), the therapist won't be thrown out of professional organizations and have licenses revoked. But in most cases different therapists will still see them as suspect.

The reasoning behind this is simple -- therapists are to listen and help with out involving their own points or needs, which creates a power differential that's difficult to overcome.

And truth be told, the roles therapists play of their offices are only sides of who they really are. Therapists focus all of their attention on clients without ever complaining about their own considerations or insecurities.

When individuals think they want to be mates, they normally need to be pals with the therapist, not the particular person, and a real mateship entails sharing power, and flaws, and taking care of one another to some extent. Getting to know a therapist as a real particular person can be disenchanting, because now they wish to talk about themselves and their own points!

4. It's all about your mother (or childhood, or past...)

Reality: One department of psychotherapeutic concept focuses on childhood and the unconscious. The remainder don't.

Psychodynamic concept kept Freud's psychoanalytic belief that early childhood and unconscious mechanisms are important to later problems, but most trendy practitioners know that we're exposed to a lot of influences in day-to-day life which are just as important.

Some therapists will flat-out let you know your past isn't important if it isn't directly related to the current problem. Some imagine extensive discussion of the previous is an attempt to flee accountability (Gestalt therapy) or maintain from actively working to change (some types of cognitive-behavioral theory). 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 sufferers

Reality: Electro-convulsive treatment (prior to now, called electro-shock remedy) is a rare, last-resort therapy for purchasers who've been out and in of the hospital for suicidality, and for whom more traditional therapies, like medications, have not 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 time ECT is a consideration, some shoppers are desperate to attempt it. They've tried everything else and just want to feel better. When death looks like your only other option, having somebody run a painless current by way of your brain while you're asleep would not sound like such a bad idea.

ECT shouldn't be painful, nor do you jitter or shake. Sufferers are given a muscle relaxant, and because it is frightening to really feel paralyzed, they're also briefly positioned under basic anesthesia. Electrodes are often attached to only one side of the head, and the present is introduced in brief pulses, inflicting 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 chemicals which can be low when someone is depressed. Some individuals wake up feeling like a miracle has occurred. Several periods are usually required to keep up the adjustments, and then the individual might be switched to antidepressants and/or other medications.

ECT is no more dangerous than some other procedure administered under normal anesthesia, and many of the potential side effects (confusion, memory disturbance, nausea) may be as much a result of the anesthesia as the treatment itself.

6. "Schizophrenia" is the same thing as having "a number of personalities"

Reality: Schizophrenia is a biological dysfunction with a genetic basis. It often causes hallucinations and/or delusions (strong concepts that go in opposition to cultural norms and are usually not supported by reality), together with a deterioration in regular day-to-day functioning. Some folks with schizophrenia change into periodically catatonic, have paranoid thoughts, or behave in a disorganized manner. They could speak strangely, becoming tangential (wandering verbally, often in a way that doesn't make sense to the listener) using nelogisms (made up words), clang associations (rhyming) or, in extreme cases, producing word salads (sentences that sound like a bunch of jumbled words and should or will not be grammatically right).

Dissociative Id Disorder (formerly a number of personality dysfunction) is caused by trauma. In some abusive situations, the normal defense mechanism of dissociation may be used to "break up off" recollections of trauma. In DID, the break up also includes the part of the "core" personality connected to that memory or series of memories. The dissociated identification usually has its own name, traits, and quirks; and will or could not age at the same rate as the rest of the personality (or personalities), if it ages at all.

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