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We have all either heard myths about our therapists or have held myths about them. 

Common myths include beliefs about therapists’ feelings towards clients, thoughts on how therapists utilize their time in session, and opinions on therapists’ knowledge and expertise on certain topics. 

While many of these myths are commonly shared, they can dehumanize therapists and negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.

Myth 1: All Therapists Do Is Talk

Psychotherapy involves a lot of talking, which is why it is also called talk therapy. But, talking in therapy is not the same as talking with a friend or venting. 

In addition to holding space and empathizing with clients, therapists use talking to deliver impactful therapeutic interventions, such as: 

  • Cognitive restructuring 
  • Distress Tolerance 
  • Trauma Desensitization 
  • Emotional Processing

Myth 2: Therapists Are Always Right

Though it may be hard to believe, therapists are not always right. Therapists often get it wrong, too, and that’s okay. 

A therapist getting it wrong does not mean they don’t understand or care about you. Everyone makes mistakes, and your therapist is no exception. 

Plus, a therapist getting something wrong is an opportunity to provide feedback and strengthen a relationship.

Myth 3: Therapists Have The Answers

Therapists do not have the answers to our problems, though. This is because therapists are experts in their studies, but we are the experts in our lives. No one knows more about ourselves than we do. 

Therapists are great resources and allies. They strive to help you find the answers you are looking for.

Myth 4: Therapists Don’t Care About You

A common misconception about therapists is that they see their clients as jobs or paychecks and do not care about them. 

This is not true. Therapists spend time getting to know their clients, empathizing with their clients, and holding space for them. Therapists foster these safe relationships with clients because they care about them.

Myth 5: Therapists Have “It” All Figured Out

Many times, we believe that therapists are experts in all things related to mental health — in the same way we expect doctors to be healthy and law enforcement to be law-abiding. 

Like everyone else, therapists are people first and therapists are not their jobs. Just because someone is a therapist does not mean their life, health, or relationships are perfect. This doesn’t mean they cannot offer you terrific care. In fact, they might be able to empathize with you better because they understand what it means to be human.

Myth 6: Therapists Are Your Cheerleaders

Therapists are known for validating their clients, but sometimes, people believe all they do is validate clients. This is not true. This myth can create biases that may either keep people from seeking therapy or impact their perceptions or expectations going into therapy. 

While some therapists’ personal styles might be more validating than others, they might also gently push back, challenge, or even put clients in uncomfortable emotional places to help them reach their personal goals.

Takeaways

There are numerous myths (even more than the ones listed here), that people might hold about therapists. 

Whether folks see these myths as positive, negative, or neutral, the reality is that these myths can cause harm to the therapeutic relationship. 

These myths can prevent people from seeking the help that they need, engaging in the treatment, trusting their providers, or even leaving an unhelpful relationship with a therapist. 

The best way to challenge these myths is to ask your therapist questions, share your expectations about therapy, and provide your therapist with ongoing feedback.



While our physical offices are located in South Loop and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois for in-person sessions, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more.  

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.


While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.