Red Bank Psychological Services Blog
Our thoughts on mental health therapy, neuropsychology, and more.
If you’ve been watching some pandemic tv hits, like the latest seasons After Life on HBO or Ozark on Netflix, you have probably gotten the wrong idea about the routines, ethics, and help that come along with real-life mental health treatment. Combine those fictions with stigma in our culture about mental health, and you have the makings for misinformation about therapy. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Red Bank, NJ private practice, I’m here to clear some things up.
1.Myth: Going to therapy means that you are weak or crazy.
Truth: Reaching out to a professional for help, demonstrates that you are strong enough to show vulnerability, and smart enough to know that sometimes you can’t fix things alone. Plus, the pandemic is one of the toughest times in our nation’s history, and virtually everyone has been touched by it negatively one way or another.
2.Myth: Going to therapy means you have to drudge up stuff about your childhood.
Truth: The work I do with clients is solution-focused, meaning that although you may wish to discuss your history with me, we usually set goals that work on how to incorporate new skills and thoughts to make positive change moving forward.
3.Myth: Only people with serious problems go to therapy.
Truth: While some people wait until a crisis happens to fix an issue, those who seek professional help when something starts to unravel will likely find the problem minimized or resolved quicker and easier than those who wait for the crisis. No one needs to struggle alone with any problem. If something is a problem to you, then it is a problem.
4.Myth: I have friends and family members to talk to, so I don’t need a professional.
Truth: Sometimes even well-intentioned friends or family members have an agenda, a way they want to see your situation develop. A therapist has a neutrality that friends and family occasionally don’t have. Plus, not only are therapists trained for years to learn how best to help you, but also sometimes having to be your counselor can be really stressful for your friend or family members. A professional can relieve this strain. Further, by law, a mental health professional must keep your information confidential (except in the event of a client stating that he wants to hurt himself or someone else). In contrast, sometimes friends or family members are not good secret keepers, even when we want them to be.
5.Myth: Therapy is too expensive and not worth the money.
Truth: What can be more worthwhile than investing in yourself, your health, and your happiness? Almost nothing tangible can be more valuable than that. Plus, my rates are barely higher than those of a good plumber or hair stylist.
6.Myth: Once I start therapy, I am going to be stuck in it forever.
Truth: Most of my clients see me for hourly sessions weekly for six months to a year, but some for as little as three months. How long and how often depends completely on you, your issues, and your goals.
7.Myth: Therapy is not real science and too touchy-feely.
Truth: My style is warm, but direct. You won’t find me being too gushy or extremely spiritual. I’m licensed by the state of NJ to do this work, and while being trained two years post-graduate, I studied different types of evidence-based methods and completed two years of clinical internship in local agencies.
8.Myth: If my therapist hasn’t had my problem, then she won’t be able to help me.
Truth: I’m old enough to have had my share of setbacks. Moreover, the most effective ingredient in a therapist is the ability to have empathy. And that, I have lots of.
9.Myth: A therapist is going to force me to take medication.
Truth: Research shows that for some diagnoses such as depression, the best results come from a combination of talk therapy and medication. However, as a licensed clinical social worker, I do not prescribe any medications. Whether or not you choose to explore the idea of medication with your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist is generally completely up to you. In my office, we work on talk therapy only.
Call me today for a free 15 minute consultation to figure out how to best to move forward in your life. 908-907-3636
Dayna Stein, MST, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Hypnosis for Fatigue (CBTH). Dayna earned degrees from Boston University, New School University, and Monmouth University, and prior to private practice in Red Bank, NJ, she specialized in trauma therapy at Catholic Charities and New Hope Integrated Behavioral Health Care, both in Monmouth County. Although she works sometimes with teens and women, she specializes with adult men.
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Dayna Stein, MST, MSW, LCSW: Therapist, Educator, Parent, Movie Buff, & Travel Enthusiast.