Psychotherapy – busting myths

Psychotherapy and as a science has acquired various myths. In this article, I will try to present and debunk the most common of them.

Myths about psychotherapy, in essence, can be reduced to two main ones.

First myth

The psychotherapist cannot do anything, psychotherapy is a permitted form of relatively harmless quackery that people who have money in their wallets can afford.

Second myth

The opposite of the first – the psychotherapist can do everything. A psychotherapist is a magician who has a diploma of a doctor or psychologist to create visible legality. Whatever such a specialist does, all this is a cover for pure magic.

The rest of the myths are a variation of these two or some detailing of them.

For example, it often happens that in a family therapy session, spouses are waiting for the therapist to say something that the other side will immediately change and will think, feel and behave the way the first half would like. Or that the psychotherapist will give such advice that the whole married life itself will turn over and flow in a different direction.

Myths relate to all types of psychotherapy and reflect a lack of understanding or fear of change (first myth) or an irresponsible attitude (second myth). Having never been to a psychotherapy session, it is difficult for people to imagine the specifics of a psychotherapeutic method compared to medication. Hence, an aura of mystery arises around this area of ​​medicine, various conjectures are born.

To dispel both myths, it should be said that psychotherapy is a process of change within a person, leading to problem solving, reduction of painful symptoms, or personal growth. That is, the goals and objectives are determined by the client himself, and the psychotherapist directly or indirectly helps him achieve his goals using various techniques. This is a joint work, under the guidance of a psychotherapist, in which you should not count on a miracle, but you should not be afraid of changes and tune in to find answers within yourself.

The position of the psychotherapist can be directive, that is, he leads the patient, directs him to the path of change. And non-directive, when the psychotherapist, with his warm, accepting position, achieves in the patient an increase in faith in his own strengths and abilities and, as a result, a solution to the problem.

Ready-made advice in psychotherapy is rare, almost exclusively in one-off consultations. Magic does not apply to psychotherapy at all, but there are unusual methods of treatment that allow you to achieve positive changes quite quickly.

Myths about hypnosis

Myth one

Hypnosis is magic, and the hypnotist is omnipotent. In fact, hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness that is the backdrop for hypnotic communication. You can compare it with deep relaxation, a sense of comfort, inner peace.

A hypnotist is a specialist who has been trained and passed exams. To a greater or lesser extent, everyone can learn the technique of hypnosis.

Myth two

Hypnosis is caused and controlled by a hypnotist, from whom everyone falls into an unjustified dependence. In fact, any hypnosis is self-hypnosis, the hypnotist only directs the trance and monitors its depth. For high-quality work in hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis training is organized.

Myth three

Hypnosis can make people act against their will. This myth appeared mainly under the influence of cinema, stage performances, when people are shown under hypnosis who may behave inappropriately: bark, cackle, etc. In fact, it is impossible to force a person to perform some kind of forbidden action (especially criminal) with the help of hypnosis : a person will successfully resist such a suggestion. It is impossible, using hypnosis, to force a person to do something that he would not allow himself in the waking state.

Myth four

Hypnosis is always a dream. This is not true: there is a so-called “everyday hypnosis” – for example, in which drivers, passing a monotonous section of the road, can be disconnected from the surrounding reality, but remain active and fully conscious about everything connected with driving a car. Many people, immersed in their affairs, lose time orientation. The experience of trance is highly individual, and trance can occur with eyes closed or open, amnesia can be either complete or partial.

Myth five

Hypnosis occurs only when hypnotic induction is used. That is, special actions for introducing into a state of hypnosis: an object swinging on a rope, repeated monotonous repetitions, etc. This is not so. Erickson and many psychotherapists – followers of his direction repeatedly carried out and carry out hypnosis without using formal induction.

Myth six

Hypnosis occurs only in a state of complete relaxation. This is not true. The depth of the trance can be different, hypnotized people can walk, talk and open their eyes.

Myth seven

The state of hypnosis is psychotherapy. Hypnosis is only an auxiliary technique, it does not cure or solve problems by itself. Hypnosis is always used in the context of psychotherapy, or in the context of a professional activity. Not only psychotherapists can master the techniques of hypnosis. For example, a dentist can also use hypnosis to reduce pain during dental treatment, psychologists to reduce anxiety and depression, therapists to relieve asthma attacks, dermatologists to reduce itching, etc.