Maybe you or someone close to you has been recently diagnosed with a mental illness. How do you navigate this change? What does this diagnosis mean?
Exposed: Myths About Therapists
When you close your eyes and think of the word “therapist,” what kind of image comes to mind? Maybe a therapist you know in your life. Or maybe the stereotypical white-bearded, Freud-esque person. No matter who you thought of, all of us hold our own ideas about who therapists are and what they are like.
Here are common myths about therapists:
Many may think of therapists as having the power to read your mind and know everything about you. This, however, is untrue. Your therapist only knows as much as you tell them. While there may be some extra bits and pieces they pick up on, they aren’t able to dive into your brain and pull out all of your thoughts and experiences.
Another common myth about therapists is that they are constantly analyzing everyone all the time. You’ll hear people say, “Oh you’re a therapist? Don’t analyze me!” Therapists generally do take note of their clients’ non-verbal signs to get a better picture of what is going on and how they are doing. However, they use these signs as only a small piece of their information and do not analyze every single person they come across in day-to-day life.
3. Picture Perfect
When people think of therapists, they may think that they are just the perfect person. They never get stressed, they never struggle, they never mess-up. The truth? Therapists are people just like you. And just like all people, therapists are not perfect.
4. Carbon Copies
Have you gone to one therapist who wasn’t a good fit and you found yourself thinking, “Therapists don’t help, they’re useless!” If this sounds familiar, you’re probably feeling like all therapists are going to be just like the one that you didn’t have a good experience with. However, stop and think for a second about people. Some you like, some you don’t, right? Like all people are different in their own ways, so are therapists. A key part of getting something meaningful out of therapy is to find a therapist that you connect with and feel comfortable talking to.
When thinking about starting therapy, have you ever hesitated because you thought, “Are they really going to keep my secrets or are they going to tell everyone?” You’re not alone in having this concern and we can assure you, your information is safe with your therapist. All therapists are bound by confidentiality, which basically means all of your conversations and information are kept private. There are few times when that confidentiality must be broken, which will be outlines in a future blog and will be covered explicitly by your therapist. So fear not, therapists keep your secrets sealed!
Have you had any of these thoughts regarding therapists? It’s totally normal to have some questions and concerns about your therapist when starting therapy. If any of these questions come up, please feel free to talk openly with your therapist about them so you can work together to help you feel more comfortable. Like this blog, check out our other blog on myths about therapy!
Helping Your Child Through Divorce
When you thought about your life, things always seemed so bright. Divorce wasn’t even a word in your vocabulary. Yet here you are...in the midst of the paperwork and the emotional agony, trying to pick up the pieces of your life. You can’t imagine how you will get by, you don’t even know how to feel. And then there’s your child...or children. You’ve heard how devastating divorce can be for kids. You never wanted them to go through this, but how can you help them?
Here are some tips to help support your child through your divorce.
Continue to spend time with them
As their parent, your children need you. Although you may want to shut away the world and just be alone following the separation, it is important to continue to show up for your children. Continue to go to their sports practices, keep on having your weekly movie nights. Whatever it is you normally do with your children, try your best to keep that up.
Remain neutral toward your ex-spouse around the children
Not all divorces end on a high note, and you may be feeling a million different negative emotions toward your former spouse. But, save the venting for a friend, family member, or therapist--not your children. When it comes to your children, remaining neutral and refraining from talking badly about your former spouse will help your child process things without any additional distress.
Talk with your child about how they’re feeling
Divorce is highly stressful and upsetting for the adults, and children tend to also hold these feelings. Moreover, many kids don’t exactly understand what this big “divorce” word means and may draw their own conclusions, whether true or off. It is important to have an honest conversation with your child about how they are feeling about these changes and address any misconceptions or fears they may have. This builds understanding and helps your children feel understood and supported.
Take time to help yourself
As a parent, you’re probably used to always putting your children first. However, it is necessary to step back and process things, see how you’re feeling, and keep up with self care. Divorce can be brutal, and in order to be fully present for your kids, you need to be taking care of yourself. Find some things that help you relax and utilize them.
For yourself and for your children. Having a neutral person to talk with is a HUGE support when going through any life change, especially something like divorce. This time will help you and/or your children process what has been going on, identify feelings, and work toward developing coping skills and supports.
Depression is on the rise. The rate at which depression is rising is even a bit alarming. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health depression rates rose from 6.6 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2015. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030 depression will be the number one leading cause of the global burden of disease.