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Myths about psychologists

A psychologist himself is like a dentist himself. It hurts, uncomfortable and fraught with complications ...

Folk wisdom

Not so many years have passed, as in our country, in general, the word “psychology” and such a profession as a psychologist have become widely known. At the same time, the popularity of everything connected with psychology is enormous - this is also indicated by the competition for psycho-sexes (it is fashionable to be a psychologist), and the amount of “popular” literature on psychology ...

At the same time, any phenomenon that acquires such a scope often loses its depth. Having read popular books like “Psychoanalysis in Comics”, many, for example, newly minted students of the psychology faculty are very surprised that everything is much more complicated and that psychology is actually a science and is not as simple as it seems. Myths and delusions regarding the activities and personality of a psychologist are common in our society almost more widely than the profession of a psychologist or psychotherapist. The psychologist is also not exactly what is shown in films, especially American ones. In this section we will dispel a number of myths about psychologists existing in our modern society.

Myth 1. The psychologist somehow deals with "abnormal" people. A normal, healthy person will not go to a psychologist. One of the most popular myths.

What is the danger of this delusion? This statement has become the most common myth relating to the profession of psychologist. At the same time, the social situation in our country developed in such a way that many people needed and need psychological or psychotherapeutic assistance. But established stereotypes do not allow them to turn to clinical psychotherapists: everyone has heard about the role of psychiatry in a totalitarian society and the fate of dissidents who have fallen into “mental hospitals”; Yes, and to this day on a person visiting a psychotherapist, many are squinting. This is what often scares off ordinary people who would be greatly helped by an appeal to a psychologist to solve important problems in their lives or to overcome serious difficulties.

Disclaimer: the psychologist has no medical education (if not received it separately) and has no right to treat. A psychiatrist is dealing with mental disorders of a person. The psychologist deals with healthy people who have certain difficulties or problems. The separation of the activities of a psychologist and a psychotherapist is not so obvious, but it is. The psychotherapist deals with deep psychological traumas, personal problems. In other words, compared with the psychologist, the psychotherapist deals with more complicated cases. The psychologist, on the other hand, advises, deals with particular cases, and gives recommendations. By the way, it also happens that the work that began as a consultation can turn into a serious and lengthy psychotherapy.

Myth 2. “Psychoanalyst” and “psychologist” are one and the same. Myth comes from foreign films.

Denial: in fact, these words are NOT synonymous. Psychoanalysis is only one of the directions in psychology with its own principles and specifics of work. It is the work of the psychoanalyst that you observe when you see how a person lies down on a couch and starts talking about himself. By the way, the couch, although traditionally considered an attribute of psychoanalysis, is not always used by modern psychoanalysts. In addition to psychoanalysis, there are several other areas (approaches) in psychology within which psychologists can work: Gestalt psychology, cognitive psychology, existential psychology, etc. Each approach has its own principles, ways of working, etc.

Myth 3. The task of a psychologist is to sort out the client’s problem as quickly as possible, give correct advice, and for that, of course, he must have a great life experience.

The danger of this myth is that the search for just such a psychologist is likely to lead to a non-professional, and as a result of this “psychotherapy” a completely opposite effect can be achieved (namely, “for some reason it will become even harder to live”).

Refutation: giving advice is not the task of a psychologist. The main task of the psychologist is to help the client understand the problem and solve it. The psychologist must create the conditions for a person to be able to sort out his own difficulties and make a decision. In order to effectively assist the psychologist, it is not necessary to visit the same situations as the client. Even on the contrary, this most likely can prevent, as the psychologist can begin to transfer his own problem to the client's problem. In fact, the expectation of advice is an attempt to shift the responsibility to a psychologist, evidence of some kind of psychological immaturity of a person. If advice is given (then, by the way, it makes sense to touch the question and about their “correctness”), the person habitually continues to be in his immature, unsustainable and irresponsible state with respect to himself. And this is definitely not the goal of therapy.

Myth 4. A psychologist should have no problems, otherwise what kind of a psychologist is he and how can he help others ?!

Denial: the psychologist is not God. He may have problems. The only thing that is required of a good specialist is to be aware of his problems, to keep them under control, in order to track in time if his problems begin to interfere with effective work with the client. To do this, in an amicable way, the psychologist must periodically undergo personal psychotherapy itself.

Myth 5. The psychologist himself has serious psychological problems.

Denial: the reverse side of the previous myth is the idea that psychologists themselves have serious psychological problems, because a normal person will not be engaged in psychology. Indeed, quite a few people come to the psychological faculties who want to deal with their psychological problems in this way. But, having failed to resolve them to one degree or another, such people often do not become professional psychologists. The psychologist is obliged to master the skills of self-regulation and have a high level of reflection in order to keep track of their own behavior, be aware of their own boundaries, find the sources of the existing complexes, fears and barriers and work on themselves. Before embarking on practical work, the psychologist himself undergoes psychotherapy, then he works under the guidance of a supervisor - a more experienced psychologist, and only after several months of training can he provide psychological assistance. It happens that from the point of view of the average person, psychologists allow themselves some oddities, are eccentric, overly self-confident, but this is not reflected in the professional qualities of a good psychologist (or should not be reflected). Nevertheless, this myth is stable and is reflected in numerous anecdotes, books and films.

Myth 6. A good psychologist after a brief intercourse is a psychological portrait of the interlocutor.

Once again we remind you: the task of the psychologist is not to understand the client’s life, but to help him to understand his own life. Therefore, he simply does not have such a task - to somehow identify the problem of the client or the type of his personality. Such labeling, one might even say, gives just not the best specialist. Indeed, in itself, the attribution of a person to a particular type or the definition of a certain level does little to solve a real problem.

Myth 7. Everyone is a psychologist, only some have a diploma, and some do not.

Denial: of course, in a heart-to-heart conversation in the kitchen, in the conversation of good friends there is a certain psychological aspect: the tension is relieved, it seems to be easier, it is a pity that not for long. However, the specifics of the work of a psychologist, in contrast to simply supporting a conversation with a friend, lies in the fact that he more consciously and deeply understands the processes taking place during interaction with the client, and, therefore, controls the interaction process. During the psychological conversation, the client may also become easier (although not always). But support alone is not enough to break out of the vicious circle of unsolved problems. And unlike a friend, the psychologist has the tools to identify destructive thoughts, reactions, patterns of customer behavior, and then help them become aware of them and find a positive replacement for them. Here a new difficulty emerges, to make the problem manifest to the client. A respected psychoanalyst at a lecture once said: “A good diagnostician sometimes needs only 10 minutes to understand the causes of a client’s problem. And a few years for the client to understand the same. ” The whole thing is in the unconscious, in its ability to protect its territory and its usual stability. That is how it (the unconscious) regards your attempts to understand the situation. Thus, the main difference between the work of a professional psychologist is that it is more effective because it is more professional.

Myth 8. A psychologist sees people “through” or has supernormal abilities.

This myth is also very popular. Many represent a psychologist as a clairvoyant or a magician who can, in a short time, create an accurate and comprehensive psychological portrait, characterize a person, describe his past, or draw a picture of his being.

Disclaimer: grading what is happening in the life of the client, as well as labeling, gives just not the best specialist. Indeed, in itself, the attribution of a person to a particular type or the definition of a certain level does little to solve a real problem.
However, in contact with a psychologist, the client always shows himself (in one way or another), which is worth exploring. The psychologist cannot predict the future and does not know all the secrets of human nature, but he is able in some sense to predict, reflect some aspects of a person’s personality most often hidden from himself. The psychologist is not a sage and not a guru, who knows everything and about everything in the world, he is not a clairvoyant or psychic. Such superpowers as clairvoyance, the opening of the third eye, the control of the energy of the cosmos are not scientific and are not taught in psychological universities. Superpowers engaged in the science of parapsychology. The prefix "couple" means "about", i.e. This is the field of psychic knowledge. A psychologist's supernormal abilities are nothing but knowledge and skills gained through serious training and proven by many years of experience.

Myth 9. The psychologist should help NOT FOR MONEY, but for example, from the nobility of the soul.

Denial: here I immediately recall about free cheese in a mousetrap, about which many have heard, and even came across. Often behind the nobility of the soul completely different motives are hidden, and in this “game” the benefactor and the beneficent customer will get the loser (or used) role.

Remuneration of a psychologist is already a more understandable motive for his work. A good psychologist did not suddenly become one. He studied for a long time and seriously, raised his level, underwent his long-term therapy (of course, paying for it), gained experience, in other words, invested a huge amount of time, effort and finances in becoming a professional in his chosen profession. Therefore, the work of a psychologist, like any other work, must be paid. A professional always respects his work and his investments. When a person goes to a lawyer or a barber, does he not expect that a specialist will provide him a service for free? At the same time, the client's willingness to pay is also one of the evidences that "it is time to change something seriously". This is also one of the components of readiness for psychological work, as an important personal contribution of the client to the future result.

Myth 10. Consulting a psychologist is a fad of the rich.

Denial: this is the opposite of the myth that was written above. In this myth, at least two components. On the one hand, private consultations with a psychologist really cost a lot of money, and in this sense, not every average citizen of the country can afford the luxury of solving his psychological difficulties or problems of interpersonal communication with the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist. The services of the mentioned parapsychologists and psychics are also very expensive. Nevertheless, there are free psychological counseling, helplines, crisis centers that provide emergency psychological assistance to all those in need, regardless of their financial situation. The second side of the problem is our mentality. In professional circles and among the townsfolk, there were and continue to be conversations that the psychology profession in our country will not take root due to the culturally and historically conditioned existence of the “institute” of conversations in the kitchen with a friend or friend. Plus, the absence, at least until recently, of a complex “loser scenario”, enshrined in the Western mentality, where it is not customary to share your problems. The installation works there: “Surround yourself with successful people, leave losers. Other people's failures are not your problem. They pull you down from your goal. ” For many, a trip to a psychotherapist, especially a family one, may be misunderstood and interpreted as a demonstration of distrust. “What, we cannot solve our problems in the family circle, why go to a stranger, what will he say or do something that I can't?” Fortunately, the situation began to change, and more and more people are beginning to appreciate the help of a qualified specialist who works with a variety of problems: these are complexes, self-doubt, fears, unpleasant feelings and emotions that you cannot cope with yourself, conflict situations at work and at home , and so on. They began to turn to a psychologist in order to improve their psychological well-being and harmonize family relationships; more and more people attend personal growth trainings to develop their own personality and discover internal resources, with the goal of realizing themselves and improving their lives.

Myth 11. A psychologist is a kind-hearted person who will always support and encourage.

Disclaimer: Along with the myth of the omnipotence of the psychologist, there is a persistent myth that a psychologist, psychotherapist is a specialist who cannot by definition cause pain, i.e. This specialist is only entitled to “strokes”, and if the client experiences mental discomfort during the work, then this is the “wrong” psychologist who “upset and offended” the client. Moreover, the stereotype of a psychologist as a character who is extremely entertaining and enjoying life is inherent not only to amateurs, but also to beginner psychologists. The latter are afraid of causing unpleasant experiences to the client, and seek to cause his confidence and improvement by agreement with all that has been said. Meanwhile, in order for a real “promotion” to occur, the client often needs to experience the whole range of feelings denoting resistance to change: fear, confusion, frustration, aggression, etc. The psychology profession involves not only “stroking”, but also a fair amount of provocation, since working with resistance is usually more fruitful. The task of the psychologist is to help the client to accept these negative emotions, to catch what they are “talking about” and cope with them. Do not forget that the therapist (like any living person) can be different, it just depends on many factors that are not always associated with the client.

Myth 12. Psychologists should be afraid, because they can inspire something to a person without his knowledge.

Denial: In modern society, there is indeed a development of such a myth. Such situations are often played up in movies and literature. By making such an assertion, a person, on the one hand, suspects a psychologist with special goals hidden from him, and on the other hand, he represents himself as a passive and incapable of resisting an object of influence from a stronger subject. Psychotherapy is a voluntary process that is possible only if the client at least has a minimal awareness of their difficulties and the motivation to change. Already at the first meeting, the client’s request is clarified in a joint dialogue, and realistic goals achievable in therapy are formulated, corresponding to the client’s interests, which become the main guideline in the work of the therapist. It should also be emphasized that the purpose of therapy is determined by the client. The therapist, for his part, responds to the extent to which the client’s expectations correspond to the real possibilities of psychotherapy and, if necessary, helps the client to find a way to transform unrealistic expectations into realistic ones. As in the clarification of goals, the client remains an active participant in the process, and not a passive object of influence from the psychotherapist, in subsequent work. The psychotherapist will never be able to force the client to do something with which the latter does not agree, even if the psychotherapist is absolutely sure of the correctness of his point of view. Even such psychotherapeutic methods that use hypnosis and suggestion techniques will not be effective without the consent and cooperation of the client.

Myth # 13. It’s worth going to a psychologist when I’m completely “locked in.”

Denial: Our compatriots are arranged in such a way that it seems easier for many to “put out the fire” than to predict and “not allow it to flare up”. И в этом тоже есть особенность национального менталитета. Так ожидания клиента от психотерапии очень напоминают ожидания при скорой стоматологической помощи: когда зуб разболелся не на шутку, куда уж деваться? Однако в отличие от стоматологии, в жизни человека очень много граней, и выход из строя одной из них почти всегда влечет за собой обострение другой (-их). Сложности, накапливающиеся как снежный ком, затрагивают все сферы жизни, и чем больше сфер жизни затронуто, тем труднее со всем этим накопившимся разбираться. Кроме того, чем дольше человек оттягивает с решением проблемы, тем вероятнее эта проблема достигнет масштабов «болезни», которая в свою очередь потребует более длительного и серьезного «лечения» и основательной коррекции психотерапевтическими средствами на более глубинном уровне (что всегда дольше, сложнее и дороже). Поэтому совершенно необязательно ждать, когда «грянет гром и разразится буря», а лучше обратиться за помощью тогда, когда возникает первичное ощущение дискомфорта или тревоги по какому-то значимому поводу, или вы чувствуете, что не в состоянии разобраться в какой-то ситуации самостоятельно.

Миф 14. О наличие универсального способа решения проблем, который подходит всем и каждому (и о котором хороший психолог точно осведомлен).

Опровержение: Даже если такой способ и есть, мне он пока не известен, но думаю, если бы он нашелся, тут же появились бы и случаи, в которых этот способ оказался полностью беспомощным… А по поводу высокого профессионального уровня психолога, которому удалось такой универсальный способ помощи ВСЕМ ВОКРУГ изобрести, я лично сильно сомневаюсь…
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