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chibam
Senior Contributor

"Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

I came upon this little article/slideshow just now.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/smart-living/reasons-why-people-refuse-to-go-to-therapy 

(WARNING: Potentially upsetting, if you've had bad experiances in therapy!)

 

I'd be interested to know what people on these forums - having probably far more experiance then the average reader - think about it.

 

Perhaps it might be a good idea for you to read the sequence for yourself before reading my impressions (below), so I don't taint your perceptions.

 

 

Content/trigger warning

I know it's only meant to be light journalism. But I still found it really frustrating. I found the tone blithe and dismissive, and in places it was self-contradictory. Virtually every category had problems.

 

Here's my rundown:

1. "There’s nothing wrong with me"

The article implies that therapy is a good idea for everyone - as a general service for improving the lives of all, not just people in need.

 

Aside from the fact that this sound suspiciously like a marketing ploy to con naieve customers into buying a product that don't have any real need or use for; so many official documents I've read recently all agree that there is a whopping shortage of therapists in the industry at the moment. Appointment waiting times are ludicrous, so I'm told. So what happens when articles like this flood the market with new customers who are just "dipping their toes into the therapy experiance, just for the hell of it?"Smiley Frustrated

 

 

2. "I can talk to my friends"
A trained professional will offer you insight that your friends don’t have and help you think in different ways.

 

Sounds a bit brain-washy to me.

 

After reading/watching about peoples' experiances with narcissistic partners, ect., I've read constant testimonies about how narcissists love to slowly draw victims away from their friends/family, so that they can brainwash them into adhering to the narcissist's own agenda.

 

The question of the day being: if I gel well with a clan of close friends, because I share a common mindset with them and we all play for the same team, why would I want an outsider coming in and distrupting that, by bending my mindset out-of-sync with the remainder of my clan?Smiley Indifferent

 

 

3. "I can just talk to my partner"
The fact that a partner has an intimate relationship with you is in itself a form of bias. Plus, you don’t want to dump all your emotional baggage on the person you’re with, right?

 

My view's always been that partners/husbands & wives are a team; if one of you has a problem, then both of you have a problem. TBH, I can't imagine personally abiding a marriage so shallow that this isn't the case.

 

Imagine it like a partnership of soldiers, e.g. a sniper and his spotter. The spotter notices that they've got a squadron of enemies bearing down on them. Does he stop and say: "I don't really want to dump that baggage on my partner, so I'll keep mum about it!"? Umm... no! Because like it or not, the sniper already has that baggage, anyway, even if he doesn't know it! The spotter will alert his partner to the state of affairs, so they can work together to solve the problem!

 

That, IMHO, is what a marriage is supposed to be. A team that works as one, sharing not only triumphs but problems, as well.

 

4. "A therapist can't fix me"
You are correct: a therapist is not a mechanic and you’re certainly not a broken car that needs to be fixed.
But a therapist can help bring new perspectives to your problems, and help you understand and manage how you feel.

 

Just remember this one for later. Trust me, there's a payoff.Smiley Wink

 

 

5. "The therapist will just judge me"

Hmm... but earlier you implied that confiding in people you are close to is problematic, because they have a bias towards you. Bias is only problematic because it skews peoples' judgement. So... it sounds like therapists really are judging us, because otherwise, why would it be important for them to be (supposedly) unbiased?

 

I'm asking all of this rhetorically, BTW. From personal experiance, I know that therapists most certainly do judge. They judge as if their trying to break some sort of judging Guiness world record.

 

 

6. "I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling a stranger some things about my life"
Therapists are trained to listen, and to make you feel comfortable about sharing whatever you wish to share. Once you start, you should have no problems sharing.

 

Yeah, good con artists are always adept at making people feel comfortable about sharing intimate details about themselves. It's practically a job requirement. I almost sent some anonymous phisher my Paypal login details because they sent me a very convincing phony email that made me feel almost completely comfortable logging in with them.

 

My point being, just because a therapist might have techniques that make you feel comfortable telling them intimate things doesn't proove that you should tell them intimate things! Because once they know all your tender areas and personal desires, they have a virtual users-manual on how to most effectively manipulate and even abuse you! Again, I speak from experiance here!

 

Feeling good sharing does not necessarily mean that sharing is good!

 

 

7. "I once saw a therapist and it didn’t help"

Yeah... I just can't with this one. Smiley Sad The dismissive tone of this section... We aren't just talking about minor hiccups here! I know that many other people on these forums are intimately aware of how bad therapy can completely ruin our lives!

 

 

8. "I wouldn’t want people to know intimate stuff about me"
Therapy is confidential. A professional psychotherapist has to abide by a code of conduct, which includes strict confidentiality rules. Under no circumstances should any personal information about you be shared.

 

Okay, two issues with this:

a. As noted above, your personal information doesn't need to leave the therapist's office in order for it to be used to abuse you. If the therapist themselves wants to manipulate you, the mere fact that they have your intimate secrets is a major problem!

 

b. There are ways a crafty therapist can circumnavigate the doctor-patient privelage laws, if they want to, and if you don't stay on your toes. You do have a legal right to privacy, but you may need to prepare yourself for a fight in order to preserve that right.

 

Again, I'm speaking from personal experiance here.

 

 

9. "If I’m depressed or anxious, I can just take a pill"
In the same way taking an analgesic drug will only mask the pain and not treat the problem, taking an antidepressant or anxiolytic will only treat the symptom.

 

But... wait a minute... I thought back in point #4, you said that we aren't interested in fixing the problems - we're only interested in "managing how we feel" about them. Smiley Frustrated So... it's okay to gloss over the real problems in favor of "managing" the symptoms (i.e. feelings) when its done via therapy... but not when the same slipshod approach is done via drugs???

 

Hypocrasy, much?Smiley LOL

 

"...Plus, psychotherapy has no physical side effects and you aren't at risk of becoming addicted to medication."

 

Hold my beer! And then go read some of my other lengthy diatribes about the side-effects that therapy has had upon my life! Once again, I just can't go in to that again right now. But suffice to say, therapy can most definitely destroy someone's life.Smiley Mad

 

 

10. "A therapist won’t really care about you; it’s all about the money"
People choose to be therapists to help people, so it’s likely that most therapists do care about their patients and genuinely want to help them. There are far more profitable professions out there.

 

Perhaps. But as you outline in section #7, there is no real expectation for a therapist to actually benefit their patient in any way. Clients who burn away small fortunes on an utterly useless therapist are simply shrugged at by the wider world and dismissively told: "Oh well, you can't let one unhelpful experiance put you off therapy. Just try it again with someone else!" The waste of all that money is never investigated, and the useless therapist gets to keep every plum nickel!

 

So, while there may indeed be many more lucrative professions out there, how many of them have absolutely zero professional/financial consequences for consistantly accomplishing nothing?

 

A high-flying stock broker may really rake it in when they make some great million-dollar calls. But if they bet the farm on a deal that goes belly-up, they will often get wiped out! Their reputations as savvy market gurus will be left in tatters!

 

Conversely, a therapist can routinely fail to do any good for patient, after patient, after patient. She may even do severe dammage to the odd one or two. And yet, come next monday morning, it's right back to business as usual; because there are no consequences.

 

How many other reasonably-lucrative businesses are that comfortable, in terms of having zero minimum expectations that need to be met, in order to preserve your career and public standing?Smiley Indifferent

 

 

11. "Once you get into therapy, there’s no way out"
Not every form of therapy is long-term. And even if you’d benefit from long-term psychotherapy, there should be an end to the process.

 

There should be. That doesn't mean there is. Once again, speaking from personal experiance, here.

 

 

 

I apologize for going on and on like that.Smiley Sad

 

The thing is, all of these things are lightweight pro-therapy arguments I've heard over and over again. There was nothing new in this article, for me.

 

You know that thing where you routinely hear people spouting the same incorrect statements about some subject, and you just hold your tongue... hold your tongue... hold your tongue...

 

...Until eventually, you get to that point where you randomly hear the same thing repeated for the umpteenth time, and you just can't keep a lid on it anymore; you just have to say something?

 

Yeah, well, today was that day for me.Smiley Sad

 

 

 

But I'm still very interested in knowing what everyone else thinks!Smiley Happy

9 REPLIES 9

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

@chibam! I got up to number 9 before I couldn't go any further. What a lot of nonsense! Was it written by a therapist drumming up business? I didn't check. Anyway, it was written by a very shallow someone with no idea what they are talking about. Take care. 😊

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

Indeed, @Historylover . Maybe I should've warned people that the content could be upsetting. I know it riled me up, reading through that set, with the history I have.

 

It's a fair theory that it's a marketing gimmick from a therapist.

 

But I think that, more then likely, it's been written by some oblivious journalist/writer who just wants to push the mainstream standards regarding therapy. I've long noticed this: that there's virtually no journalistic interest in doing deep examination into matters of therapy and "mental health". Journalists never free-think, ask probing questions, or call out inconsistancies & untruths, when it comes to the topic of mental health. They only ever push the company lines they are fed by the powers-that-be.

 

The mainstream stance is that "therapy is good, so we need to urge people in crisis to get it!", and this is all that journalists ever push. Because they lack the courage to think for themselves, or explore the issue more deeply.

 

It utterly confounds me how we keep hearing over and over again about how "we need to talk about mental health" - yet the same media constantly pushing this message refuses to really talk about it; to really look in to what's going on, and to kick off the essential conversations.

 

Instead, they just fob off quick, thoughtless catchphrases, and shallow arguments to back them up. No insight whatsoever into the hard realities of what therapy patients go through.

 

I realize that not all patients have it as rough as we did, but I still think that the media needs to give fair attention to the darker realities of therapy.

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

@chibam Feeling really broken and bewildered, my friend. I hope you're doing alright. Sending best wishes. 😉

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

Really sorry to hear that, @Historylover .Smiley Sad I wish I could do something to help.

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

That's a tough spot to be @Historylover , anything that you feel it could be helpful to talk about? 

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

I know you would if you could, @chibamHeart

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

It's a really tough spot, @Jynx. No, nothing to talk about. Thanks for asking. 

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?

@chibam I'm not even willing to read the article, as people refuse to go to therapy for so many different reasons. Actually, I try not to listen to or read news articles these days because my rage gauge goes high very quickly.

Re: "Reasons Why People Refuse To Go To Therapy" - What do YOU think?


@FiFi85 wrote:
@chibamI'm not even willing to read the article, as people refuse to go to therapy for so many different reasons.

True, and the article admits this freely.

 

What bothered me about it though, is that it seemed to run through all those various reasons one-by-one, and attempt to belittle or descredit each and every one of them in turn.

 

Makes us all out to be ignorant kooks who've been seduced by unfounded rumors or prejudices, when in fact most of our reasons are based on a solid basis of life experiance, or logical thinking far more robust then the brief, classic, flimsy arguments that the article merely rehashes. Smiley Frustrated

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