Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Common Myths Associated with Mental Health and Therapy by Tytannie Harris, LCSW

If I had a dollar for every time a client came to see me and asked if they were “crazy” I would be rich. I always tell my clients you’re “brave” not crazy and I’m proud of you for taking the first step in addressing your mental health. There’s nothing wrong with having a “mental health checkup.” Whether it’s a divorce, death of a loved one, stress at work or parenting challenges, sometimes life happens. It is a common belief that mental illness is caused by personal weakness when in fact, like most major illnesses, it is not the fault of the person with the mental conditions. Biological and environmental factors are usually at the root of the issue and needing therapy is not a personal failure. There are a few common myths associated with psychotherapy.

Myth #1 – I can’t afford therapy

The truth is, you can’t afford not to. There are a variety of ways in which therapy can be affordable. Think about what you spend on clothes, going out or dinner a few times a week. Saving just a little of your leisure money can be used for therapy. From free services in community health agencies or hourly rates in private practice, most therapists offer a sliding fee scale as well. The truth is no matter what the cost is, there is a price to having peace of mind and feeling better about yourself or your life.

Myth #2 - Therapy is for people with serious mental problems

You don’t have to be diagnosed with a serious mental illness to seek therapy. In fact, you don’t have to be stressed out or even depressed to seek help. Research has shown that most people wait until life becomes “unbearable” before they seek help. Unfortunately, this only intensifies the problem and prolongs solutions and gaining skills that can assist you in resolving your challenges. No matter what the reason is, there is no need to feel ashamed in wanting to feel better and be your best self.

Myth# 3 - I can talk to my friends and family to get mental health support

Having family and friends that you can talk to is great because they can provide love, comfort, and support. However, nothing compares to having a licensed trained professional who can help you figure things out. Therapists are trained for years on how to assess, diagnose and treat relational, behavioral, and psychological problems. In addition, it is the responsibility of the therapist to provide solutions, direction, and positive outcomes. Lastly, therapy is completely confidential and therapists are bound by laws and ethics (with some exceptions) that prevent them from sharing your thoughts, feelings, or issues with anyone else. In a therapy session, it’s all about you and your well-being.

Tytannie Harris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach. She is the owner of TMH Behavioral Services, P.C., a group private practice located in Hyde Park. Find out more about Tytannie at 


  1. This is awesome! #mentalhealthawareness

  2. Great information! I'm glad you shared these myths. This education can save lives in more ways than one.