the psychologists and psychology students they are confronted, day after day, with many clichés, stereotypes and myths surrounding their profession. One facet of these clichés are the phrases that, for some reason, every psychologist must have heard over and over.
Phrases most hated by psychologists (or myths about psychologists)
Fill topical and worn phrases, The result of ignorance of the profession of psychologist. With this article, we hope to raise awareness among the general public: I refrain from using these topical phrases! A family member, friend or acquaintance who is engaged in psychology he will thank you forever.
Let’s get started.
1. “Are you a psychologist? Don’t read my mind!”
It is a sentence which can irritate the psychologist a little. No one has the ability to read minds other people, no one. If this is the case, mental health professionals would not use tests and a multitude of techniques to explore the patient’s psyche; a “mental reading” would be enough to know the problems of the person.
On the other hand, what is the point of this aggressive attitude? You might not be the most interesting person in the world, I don’t have to aspire to discover the wonderful things you think about. You don’t need to warn me about something that I never even thought about doing.
Psychologists are dedicated to the analysis of behavior patterns, personality traits, psychosocial contexts, etc. From this objective information, we can make a hypothesis on patients, or predict behaviors that could develop in the future depending on the parameters studied. That means we are not like Sandro Rei: We don’t have “scientifically proven” glass balls or glasses that allow us to see beyond common perception.
There is also the nice person who insists that you “read his mind.” It’s a nice twist on the cliché, because at least it wasn’t born out of a passive-aggressive attitude. A few words for the person asking me to read his mind: I admire your open and jovial predisposition to life and want to show your inner world. I hope not to disappoint you if I tell you that the profession of psychologist is much less mystical. Anyway, I invite you to have a coffee, to compensate you.
2. “Psychologists are crazy”
It is not foolish to think that in every psychologist there is a point of madness. This happens to anyone who enjoys his discipline of knowledge; what he studied and what is probably his vocation. Perhaps it is for this reason that people can conclude that “one who spends so much time thinking about the psyche, can end up being a little touched …”.
The truth is, many TV series have paved the way for this myth of psychologists’ madness to gain followers. The cultural products they offer us are fiction and their plots are based on the abnormal, the unexpected, the shocking … that is why the psychotherapists who come to life in the series or the films are most eccentric. Like, for example, the Doctor House he embodies a misanthropic and narcotic doctor, but to extrapolate that all doctors are like him would be a serious mistake.
However, the reality is very different. Most psychologists we are very normal, And even boring, if you hurry me.
3. “Where’s the couch? You can’t be a psychologist if you don’t have a couch”
To begin with: psychologists they don’t give us the couch at the graduation ceremony. Buying a sofa if you are going to have a consultation (which is another, not all psychologists are engaged in psychotherapy) is not mandatory and no laws are broken if you do not have it. not.
The couch was widely used by psychoanalysts for a question of tradition. Some current psychotherapists, whether they are familiar with psychoanalysis or any other, may decide whether or not to have it. The sofa has no magical powers this does not imply any added value. Its function is to help the patient to relax and express his concerns and problems better, and to prevent him from looking into the eyes of the psychotherapist and feeling embarrassed.
If you are going to therapy and your psychologist does not have a couch but a normal couch, chair or tripod, please don’t think he’s a bad psychologist for that, And avoids having to hear the cliché phrase “Where’s the sofa?”.
4. “With what psychologists charge, they must be rich”
This point depends a lot on the country in which you are located: in each region there are parameters of fees for the psychotherapist, or the profession is better or less valued. This influences what is paid for a psychotherapy session. Is it expensive to go to the psychologist? Well … as Pau Donés would say, it all depends.
In general terms, psychologists we are not rich. Not at all, go ahead. Many people believe that by studying for a degree in psychology, they will become millionaires by consulting and then meet the harsh reality.
So why do psychologists charge so much? Well, let’s start creating accounts. You should be aware when evaluating whether a therapy session is very expensive that therapists have studied for four years and after graduation we had to study postgraduate students, masters… It is a significant investment in time and money. Masters in Spain do not go below 3,000 €. And, with the latest price hike, each year of racing can cost over € 1,500.
On another side, the tests needed to diagnose patients they are surprisingly expensive. Add office rent, taxes (personal income tax, self-employed, etc.), liability insurance, equipment (on the sofa too, but it’s optional). And note, furthermore, that psychologists not only work with our patients during the sessions, but we can spend many hours at home review history, search for information, correct tests and activities, learn better techniques, update, train … There are many hours spent behind every patient, and you can’t see them by eye naked.
In any case, and especially after the crisis, the truth is that there are psychologists who they can treat you at a very affordable price. There are also those who, out of prestige, charge much more expensive sessions. It’s all in the Lord’s Vineyard, but if you really need therapy money shouldn’t be a barrier.
5. “No, it’s just that I don’t believe it” (in psychology)
I’m happy for you, That you know. Colored.
But let’s move on to the analysis of this cliché sentence. The truth is that psychology is neither a religion nor anything like it. It is not about “to believe or not to believe”, as if psychology is something like an act of faith. You might not believe in the law of gravity, but there is evidence that there is something that pulls bodies down to the ground. Therefore, your opinion on this is totally irrelevant as the laws of physics are there and they will not stop working even if you do not believe in them. One could say that psychology or physics have enough self-esteem as if it doesn’t affect them that you do without.
Psychology is governed by the scientific method; try analyze reality on methodological bases contrast to be able to draw true conclusions. This does not mean that anything with the surname “psychology” is absolutely indisputable, nor that there cannot be methodological errors that can lead to false conclusions (as in almost all social or health sciences). ).
Psychology is a science that is currently framed in the Health Sciences. You cannot “believe” in psychology, in any case you will have a critical vision of the methodology and empiricism used by this discipline. The empirical evidence that psychology provides around knowledge of the psyche is dynamic and mutableThere is no doubt about it (humans change!), But there is no denying that this data translates into an improvement in the quality of life of people who go into therapy, it is scientifically proven (sorry for the tautology).
Of course, the study of psychology is standardized within a fairly demanding legal framework.
If with this sentence “I don’t believe in psychology” you mean that you don’t like psychologists, You have the right to have this opinion, but if this is the case, it is better that you explain yourself correctly and that you do not use the typical sentence, because as you have read it is a lie .
6. “You cannot get angry; you are a psychologist!”
Following this same logic, a doctor cannot catch a cold, a mechanic cannot break down his car, or a dentist cannot have a toothache. It should be borne in mind that psychologists expose us to high levels of stress: we are confronted with the emotional charge which means listening to all the patients’ issues, and we’re supposed to be trained so that it doesn’t affect us, but …
Excluding consultation, psychologists are people of flesh and bloodWe get excited, laugh, cry and … we have flaws. Although it is incredible.
Although our education and profession equip us with skills to control emotions and deal with stress and conflict, we are not immune to difficult times, mistakes, anger, etc. this that does not mean that we are bad psychologists: We must learn to separate personal and professional life, and also know how to weigh that psychotherapists are people, and therefore perfection is not our common denominator. Neither ours nor anyone else’s.
7. “Psychology is not a science!”
Let’s go back to those kinds of people who for one reason or another “don’t believe in psychology”. This time it’s the turn of the person who says psychology is not a science. First of all, one should ask what this person means by “science”. Because maybe his view of the scientist is is reduced to mathematical and physical laws, Perfect and unchanging. This purist view of the concept of “science” is not accepted by almost anyone.
In reality, science is… (we take from the encyclopedia):
“The ordered body of systematically structured knowledge. Science is the knowledge obtained by observing regular patterns, reasoning and experimenting in specific areas, from which questions are generated, hypotheses are built, principles are deduced, and general laws and systems are developed, organized by means of a scientific method. ” [Fuente: Wikipedia]
And, without a doubt, psychology is a science insofar as it is the discipline of knowledge that is studied, in an orderly manner and according to the scientific method, Human behavior and mental processes. This means that psychology makes assumptions about phenomena and then tests them empirically (by systematic observation), like any other science. In fact, psychology is still a discipline that drinks from biology, medicine, chemistry, neuroscience, social science, and even quantum mechanics. Isn’t it about science either?
Psychology is therefore a science. It is a consummate fact, not an opinion. If you think you are the owner of the universe touting your skepticism, I recommend that you read the following article carefully:
- “Dunning-Kruger effect: the less we know, the smarter we think we are”
No hard feelings.
8. You meet a person by chance, strike up a conversation, by chance he finds out that you are a psychologist and … He explains his problems to you and asks you for a diagnosis and treatment in 5 minutes.
What happened to a psychologist: you take a taxi to go to another part of town, and as the taxi driver finds out about your job, he starts to bombard with your personal stories and wait for you to “diagnose” and “heal” yourself before arriving at your destination.
Let’s see: to come back to the same thing, psychologists are not magicians or work miracles. I am really sorry. It is not very pleasant for anyone either tell you their problems in five minutes, Hurry, and take responsibility for your future with a diagnosis and care that you need to deliver at the speed of sound.
Usually psychologists are open people and we have no problem with that. give a helping hand to those who need it. But you have to understand that in the same way that the doctor does not explore around the clock people who are in the street for illness or that the waiter is not dedicated to offering you the menu when he is on vacation, neither can the psychologist be constantly attentive psychological problems or existential concerns of strangers.
You need to know when it’s time to expose these issues, and how to do. To establish a serious diagnosis, it takes hours of work, even days, of methodical exploration; requires concentration on the part of the psychologist.
And, in any case, and no matter how much humanism is attributed to us, you should also keep in mind that we are trying to make a living from our work.
9. “Going to the psychologist is for mentally teasing!”
This is one of the most irritating sentences because it demonstrates absolute ignorance on many levels. Let’s start: what is mental depression for you? Crazy man? If you are referring to people who have an emotional problem, temporary mood disorder, or family conflict … How many people would escape your conception of madness?
In addition, in case you did not know, psychologists also treat you issues aseptic and sick leave, Learning difficulties or partner problems … Not to mention the branch of positive psychology, which is responsible for improving the qualities of the person (and therefore its purpose is not to “treat” anything either, but to improve certain skills in which the person wants to improve).
Of course, to say that those who go to the psychologist is because they are crazy is a real barbarism. What is crazy is not to seek help when you are not well. And keep in mind that all people, at some point in their lives, will go through some sort of conflict in which the intervention of a therapist would be necessary.
None of the aforementioned cases fall into the bag of “madness”. Seek professional help in the event of a problem that won’t make this problem more or less the same. The point is to try to help people, and each case is unique. Let us not fall into the stigma of ignorance with those who have the courage to face their fears.
10. “The other day I had a dream … (tells you) what does that mean?”
Being a psychologist is not the same as being a psychoanalyst. And I bet most psychoanalysts couldn’t give you a rigorous explanation of the meaning of sleep you just explained in three minutes either. without knowing more critically important data investigating something so complex and intangible than your unconscious.
The reality is that most psychologists have no training in such theories which question the interpretation of dreams from the analysis of the unconscious, symbols, etc. It is so.
Funfully, most therapists can try to make assumptions about what we think those dreams you explained may mean, but don’t expect a compelling conclusion because it won’t cease to be a sketchy interpretation. and a lot of data is missing to be able to correctly analyze the functioning of your unconscious.
Have you heard any other cliché phrases about psychologists or psychology?