Psychotherapy as a science has acquired various myths. In this article I will try to present and debunk the most common ones.
The myths about psychotherapy can be essentially reduced to two main ones.
The first myth
A psychotherapist can do nothing, psychotherapy is a permitted form of relatively harmless quackery that people who have money in their wallets can afford.
The opposite of the first is that the therapist can do anything. A psychotherapist is a magician who has a doctor’s or psychologist’s diploma to create visible legality. Whatever such a specialist does, all this is a cover of pure magic.
The rest of the myths are variations of these two or some detailing of them.
For example, it often happens that in a family therapy session, spouses expect the therapist to say something that the other side will immediately change and think, feel and behave as the first half would like. Or that a psychotherapist will give such advice that the whole married life itself will turn over and flow in a different direction.
Myths apply to all types of psychotherapy and reflect misunderstandings or fears of change (first myth) or irresponsible attitudes (second myth). Having never attended a psychotherapy session, it is difficult for people to imagine the specifics of the psychotherapeutic method in comparison with the 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 changes within a person, leading to solving problems, reducing painful symptoms or to personal growth. That is, the goals and objectives are determined by the client himself, and the psychotherapist directly or indirectly helps him with the help of various techniques to achieve the set goals. This is a joint work, under the guidance of a psychotherapist, in which one should not count on a miracle, but one should not be afraid of changes and tune in to search for answers within oneself.
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 the patient’s growth of faith in their strengths and abilities and, as a result, a solution to the problem.
Ready-made advice in psychotherapy is rare, almost exclusively in one-time consultations. Magic is not at all related to psychotherapy, but there are unusual methods of treatment that allow you to achieve positive changes quite quickly.
The first myth
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. Anyone can learn the technique of hypnosis to a greater or lesser extent.
The second myth
Hypnosis is triggered and controlled by the hypnotist, on whom everyone falls into unjustified dependence. In fact, any hypnosis is self-hypnosis, the hypnotist only directs the trance and monitors its depth. Self-hypnosis training is organized for high-quality work in hypnotherapy.
The third myth
Hypnosis can force people to act against their will. This myth appeared mainly under the influence of cinema, stage performances, when they show people under hypnosis who may not behave adequately: barking, clucking, etc. : a person will successfully resist such a suggestion. You cannot, using hypnosis, force a person to do something that he would not allow himself in the waking state.
The fourth myth
Hypnosis is always a dream. This is not true: there is so-called “everyday hypnosis” – for example, in which drivers, driving a monotonous section of the road, can disconnect from the surrounding reality, but remain active and fully conscious about everything related to driving a car. Many people, plunging into their affairs, lose their temporal orientation. The experience of trance is highly individual, and trance can occur with both eyes closed and open, amnesia can be either complete or partial.
The fifth myth
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 have repeatedly carried out and carry out hypnosis without applying formal induction.
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.
The seventh myth
The hypnosis state is psychotherapy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapy . Hypnosis is just an auxiliary technique; it does not heal or solve problems on its own. Hypnosis is always used in the context of psychotherapy, or in the context of professional activity. It is not only psychotherapists who can own hypnosis techniques. For example, a dentist can also use hypnosis to reduce pain in dental treatment, psychologists – to reduce anxiety and depression, therapists – to relieve asthmatic attacks, dermatologists – to reduce itching, etc.