The world today can be a fast-paced and highly demanding place and, for many of us, our journey through life can feel overwhelming. As a global health consultancy, COLUMBIA pure sees the impact of these demands in the increasing numbers of people who are turning to therapy. However, despite the growing need for therapy, there is still some stigma attached to counselling which can prevent people from searching out help.

In this blog we aim to take the mystery out of therapy and explore the different types of approaches available, debunk the most common myths and bring into the open the ways that speaking to a professional counsellor can positively impact one’s life.


Before choosing a therapist, it is important to understand the different forms of therapy available, and to also identify what specific needs you are hoping to address.

Perhaps one of the best-known forms of therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). By focusing on the identification of negative thought patterns and behaviours, the therapist is able to challenge these ideas and help the individual to develop practical skills that they can use to manage stress, anxiety and depression. Ultimately this should lead to a change in how the client perceives difficult situations and subsequently responds to them.

Psychodynamic Therapy on the other hand digs deep into unconscious thoughts and is rooted firmly in the principles first expounded by the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. By exploring past experiences that may influence current behaviour the therapist is able to help individuals gain insights into their emotions and relationships so that they can start to take control.

For those looking for a sense of empowerment and self-acceptance, Humanistic Therapy may be the answer. This client-centred therapy, which also includes Gestalt, encourages individuals to look within themselves, making the most of their own potential and emphasising personal growth.

Finally there is Interpersonal Therapy, otherwise known as IPT. This form of therapy emphasises the need for communication and building personal relationships. It can be particularly beneficial to those struggling with relationships or dealing with major life changes and issues, such as grief, following a bereavement.

Despite the many known benefits of therapy, there are a number of misconceptions which may put people off seeking help. Here are just some of the myths surrounding the subject:

1.           It is only suitable for severe mental health issues

While it is certainly used in the treatment of severe mental health issues, it is a valuable resource for anyone experiencing difficult challenges or feeling stressed with their everyday life. It is also helpful for personal growth and self-improvement.

2.           Your therapist will have all the answers

In fact, therapists are really there to guide clients towards their own identification of solutions. It is a journey where the client and therapist work together collaboratively to grow self-awareness and personal development.

3.           Therapy is a sign of weakness

On the contrary, seeking therapy is a courageous and proactive step towards self-improvement and self-care. It takes strength to acknowledge that you have challenges and want to work towards positive change.

4            Therapy takes forever

Therapy accommodates individual needs and its duration can vary from the short term, to achieve immediate goals, to extended therapy where there is ongoing support. Therapists will work with clients to identify what is needed and to work on a realistic timeline for progress. 

We have talked about the positive impact of seeking professional help and here are just some of the benefits you might find.

  • Your emotional well-being will improve as you take advantage of a safe space to express yourself without fear of judgement. You will be helped to gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and learn how better to manage them.
  • By developing better communications skills, you will find that your relationships become healthier and more fulfilling, and your connections with people will become stronger.
  • Therapy can equip you with a range of coping skills so that when life’s challenges crop up, you will be better able to deal with them. Whether dealing with stress, anxiety or trauma, you will be empowered to navigate the ups and downs with more resilience.
  • Finally, therapy will help you understand your motivations and patterns of behaviour so that you have the self-awareness to make positive choices in the future, helping you to achieve greater happiness in your life.

The power of therapy lies in the support, insight and tools that it provides. Seeking out therapy is not a sign of weakness, rather the opposite is the case and, by embracing all that it offers, we can start to create a more compassionate and understanding society.

Please note, all content provided is for informational purposes, and is believed to be accurate and current at the time of posting. It should not, at any time, be used in place of appropriate professional or expert advice.