Nowadays, we hear or read in the media about the ever increasing important and recurring support role of psychologists in certain situations, but.. has it always been that way?,
I don’t need to see a psychologist, “I am not mad...”
Thinking that people who see a psychologist to address their problems “are mentally ill” forms part of a series of social prejudices because they feel labelled and stigmatised. Looking for the reasons for this belief about madness and psychologists, we think there has been a lack of information on the spread of psychology.
The setbacks suffered by psychology in the early decades of the twentieth century, when many trained psychologists left our country due to social and political fluctuations, resulted in an enormous void in the scientific field and the “standardisation” of psychology as a science that deals with the human psyche, contributing to popular prejudice that only crazy people need psychological help.
In 1968, Spain created a Psychology Degree, and in recent decades this has advanced considerably. Research and specialist publications have multiplied and there has been a wide opening of knowledge through first-class schools and new trends . All this has contributed to the assessment and social acceptance of psychology.
Seeking professional help when it is needed is not a synonym for madness, but a way of addressing problems intelligently, with common sense. In the same way that when we have a physical health problem we look for an appropriate professional - dentist, orthopedic surgeon, etc. - psychologists, as mental professionals, are qualified to treat a multitude of problems, ranging from conflicts and severe disorders (depression, traumas, etc.) to specific problems such as decision making, anxiety management, coping skills, and communication problems.
I don’t need a psychologist, when I have problems I always solve them myself.
Following the idea of always being able to solve problems alone, without need of any help, shows the mind-set of a weak individual confronting adversity. However, what really lies below this discourse is the person’s rejection of needs, failure to accept limitations, and unreasonable demands to take total control.
This way of thinking is the real illogical problem, because when someone needs help and follows a therapeutic process, the fact that it can be shared with a psychologist leads to very beneficial personal release, with that person being prepared about the way to address conflicts in the most effective and adaptive manner.
I don’t need a psychologist because I have plenty of friends and a family to support me.
One of the reasons for favouring this idea is the tendency in our society to seek help among family and friends, rather than professionals; “dirty linen is washed at home”.
Counting on help from family and friends is very important for emotional wellbeing, because they provide very beneficial supportive ways to deal with the problems. But it is the psychologist, the qualified professional with university training focused on treatment of psychological problems who knows about human behaviour, conflicts and limitations. Psychotherapy is the way to overcome and adapt to situations that can block us at certain times.
When should psychological help be found…
Throughout our lives we encounter difficulties that we have to deal with and overcome. However, there are occasions when we don’t know how to resolve the problems and are lacking in the strength to do so. At other times we don’t find a solution because we don’t know what is wrong, or why it is happening. Moreover, our relationships with others become complicated, especially with children, partner, friends, work, etc. If this occurs, we feel emotionally sad, distressed, or powerless, and that is the time to speak to a psychologist.
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