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What is a talking therapy?

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what a talking therapy is, what a session is like, and how it can help our mental health.

Talking therapies help us to understand and work through difficult feelings and develop ways to cope better.

And with one in four of us all experiencing a mental health issue, accessing a talking therapy sooner can really help when you are starting to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed, or lonely. Medway talking therapies can help you to manage the impact of long-term health conditions too.

We asked our therapists to bust the top five myths about talking therapies:

“I’m weak if I go for a talking therapy”
“People can wrongly assume that asking for help is a sign of weakness, which can lead to people feeling ashamed and embarrassed about needing support. It’s a stigma I really wish we could stop – getting help and talking things through is clinically proven to help. The sooner someone can access professional, local mental health support, the better. A talking therapy is a great way to do this. There really is no shame in a talking therapy – you might be surprised how many people are accessing the help they need already.”

“I don’t need therapy, as I can talk to my friends and family”
“It’s great when we hear that people have such great support networks; it’s important that we all have people we can talk to. But it’s often easier to talk confidentially to someone who doesn’t know you personally. During a talking therapy, a therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you. Talking to a therapist also gives you the opportunity to look at your problems in a different way.”

“I don’t have the time for a talking therapy”
There are lots of different types of talking therapies and these can be delivered in all sorts of ways, including face-to-face sessions, individual video or phone calls, group sessions, webinars, self-help materials, or typed digital therapies. We understand how busy life can get, so we offer talking therapies in a range of ways, at different times to fit around your existing commitments.”

“It’s just a bit of a chat”
“I hear this so often and it’s a real myth! Unlike the version of talking therapies you’ll see on popular TV shows, a professional talking therapist won’t sit behind you and silently take judging notes! A talking therapy is a two-way process – we’ll work with you to talk through how you’re feeling and develop tools and techniques so that you can help yourself in the future too.”

“My problems aren’t ‘bad enough’ for therapy”
“I often hear people say things like ‘There are other people worse off than me’. This suggests that you’re not important enough to have your concerns heard, and that’s simply not true. Everyone should have a space to be heard and share how they are feeling. It really is key to everyone’s mental wellbeing and important to get the right support as soon as possible.”

If you’re finding things difficult at the moment, please don’t struggle on alone.

The NHS Talking Therapies, Kent and Medway hub can help you manage how you’re feeling and help you get access to your nearest talking therapy service in Kent and Medway.

Group therapy session

Published date:

30th January 2023

In partnership with:

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