1. "If I go to therapy, it means I'm crazy or weak"

National Institute of Health reports that 14.8 million American adults suffer from depression. Approximately 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety and about 5.7 have been diagnosed as bi-polar. Despite the staggering amount of people recorded as suffering from some kind of mental illness, our society continues stigmatize mental illness and therapy. Remember, how we choose view our decisions is a matter of perspective. 

The reality is that provides the client with helpful and positive tools to help them to increase their awareness about their how they make choices regarding their life as well as provide them effective coping skills to manage a life challenge. The fact remains that seeking therapy is an amazing act courage to take inventory of ourselves, but a journey to self-exploration and better understanding of how and why we do what we do. Therapy is an exercise in being mindful instead of always on automatic.  By valuing therapy as a step towards better knowing ourselves, our emotional health and individually and taking charge of our well-being, we are working towards a more authentic genuine self.

2. "Therapy will fix me and the therapist will give me advice" 

In no other field of healthcare is it more important for the client to be an active participant than in psychotherapy. In fact, unless the client is committed to being an active participant, therapy will be unsuccessful. Psychotherapy is a partnership between the client and the therapist. The therapist rarely, if all, offers advice to the client. That is not the role of therapy or the therapist. What successful therapy can accomplish is upholding a mirror for the client so that he or she can more clearly re-discover and re-create themselves as only they see if. By refraining to give advice, the therapist is allowing the client to gain a greater sense of empowerment and accountability for their life. A good therapeutic experience should not foster a dependency but work towards the client’s ability to take full responsibility for their life.

3. "The therapist can't really help me unless he/she has had the same experience and background."

Individual reactions to the same event or experience can vary widely, but basic human emotions are the same across individuals and cultures. The genuine, authentic therapeutic relationship (the relationship between you and the therapist) will be the most important aspect of therapy more than the personal experience of the therapist.

4. "Therapy will take forever"

The length of therapy depends on the client’s goals, motivation, and the severity of the problems brought into counseling. Good counselors are invested in helping you meet your goals so you can successfully operate independent of therapy.

5. "If I go to therapy, everyone will know about my personal life" 

All healthcare providers, especially mental health providers are mandated by Federal and State law to uphold all patient confidentiality. Unless you are an imminent danger to yourself or others your confidentiality is protected by law. What makes the therapeutic process successful is the security of your information which helps to build a relationship based on trust and respect. 

Noosha Daha, LMFT is the founder of Oaks Counseling Center who works in private practice in Sherman Oaks.