A Psychotherapist Sets the Facts Straight


Lizzy Beall

There is more to therapy than what media leads viewers to believe.

By Lizzy Beall, Reporter

  What images come to your mind when you think about psychotherapy?

  Due to media’s portrayal of talk therapy in an unflattering light, many teens do not realize the benefits of seeing a therapist.

  In society today, teens are faced with pressures and expectations at school, work and home -not to mention with relationships and self-image.

  What adolescencts may not realize is the degree of harm that they are experiencing.

  One in every five teens struggle with their mental health (teenmentalhealth.org).

  Mental health problems can be identified when actions, feelings, or thoughts create problems in one’s daily life.

  Common mental health issues for teens include: anxiety or depression, plus disorders in mood, behavior, eating, panic, or obsessive compulsion.

  Over half of those diagnosed never receive treatment.

  Unfortunately, therapy stigmas may cause hesitancy based off of lack of understanding, doubting its effectiveness, or fear of judgement.

  Lisa Fizer, a certified counselor, agreed to give her perspective on the common misconceptions influencing the way people view psychotherapy.

  Currently, Fizer empowers teen girls facing domestic abuse, drug addiction, and self-harm with House of Hope in York, PA. She also holds private sessions with patients for Freedom Thru Jesus Fellowship And Ministry Training Center in New Freedom, PA.

  Fizer shares the wisdom she has gained from her position concerning the healing power of therapy.

Only crazy people go to therapy.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Therapy is doing something different. It is acknowledging you have been doing it on your own, trying to figure things out on your own, and it isn’t working. If you had financial issues you would seek a financial adviser. If you have car trouble you would seek a mechanic. So if you have relationship issues, anxiety, poor self image, etc. you go see a therapist or counselor.”

It takes a long time in therapy to made progress.

“Some issues due require quite a while to work through. If someone is, say, 40 years old and they have habits and thought processes that need to change and it has been this way for 40 years, it may take a bit to work through. If a young adult or teen comes in often it doesn’t take as long since they haven’t had as many years to unravel.”

Therapy is expensive.

“Most secular counselors take insurance although some insurances don’t cover the cost. Some places use a sliding scale based on income to determine the cost. This is the counselor’s lively-hood and they often work odd hours to accommodate people’s schedules. You must count the cost of what not dealing with the issues is really costing you.”

Your therapist will make you reliant on them.

“The point of counseling or therapy is to help the person find freedom and peace, not to rely on the therapist. To learn skills and use tools on their own to continue to walk out the freedom and peace they find.”

Medication is just as effective as therapy.

“Medication is a good tool in some cases to bring stability. However, medication alone doesn’t get to the reason you are having the issue you are, such as depression or anxiety. Medication masks the problem and at times loses its effectiveness. Using counseling and medication together is often of great benefit. “

Talking to family members or friends is just as effective as going to a psychologist.

“Well, sometimes this is helpful and sometimes it is not. Many people due to shame often don’t tell the whole story to family and friends for fear of judgement. Also, many well meaning people tell them to just get over it or they too share the same issue and have not gotten freedom from it themselves. While talking to family and friend can often make us feel better in the moment, it may not got to the real deep belief and bring lasting healing.”

You can get better on your own if you just try hard enough and keep a positive attitude.

“When life is good, or even fair this may work, but when faced with any kind of struggle or obstacle to overcome, a positive attitude can only get you so far. Again, this is much like insanity. Relying on self puts a lot of pressure on yourself and really makes unrealistic expectations. A positive attitude in therapy can go a long way to freedom.”

Viewing counseling through the eyes of a therapist provides a whole new perspective to consider.

Talk therapy may be the solution for positive change in your life.