Myth: Therapy is all about your childhood

Fact: There’s a common stereotype that therapy involves a large leather sofa, a middle-aged gentleman taking notes, and a patient talking about their horrible childhood. In reality, modern therapy doesn’t resemble this at all. Most modern therapies have been developed to help individuals solve problems in the present, with an emphasis on coping skills, emotional- and self- awareness, and self-help techniques. While there may be instances in which it could be important to discuss one’s childhood – for instance, if there were specific traumas that continue have a lasting impact on daily functioning – such an approach has not been shown to be any more effective as a routine practice in addressing the common problems of daily living, such as managing stress, relationships, family problems, or normal emotional reactions gone out of control (such as depression and anxiety).