The “Not Serious Enough” Myth

Despite ongoing efforts to fight stigma and battle myths about counseling, many UCSC students still have misconceptions about CAPS and what we do. CAPS psychologist Blair Davis takes on these myths and lays down the truth, so you can separate the fact from the fiction.

Myth: Counseling/therapy is only for people with serious mental health diagnoses.

Fact: Counseling is for anyone who needs to talk to someone about issues in their lives. Everyone needs help, support and advice from time to time. We at CAPS see everything from “day-to-day” issues like roommate problems to serious mental health conditions and everything in between. Therapy can help with lots of problems.

I think of it a little bit like going to the doctor. Sometimes we’re there for something serious, but far more often we’re getting treatment for the routine problems that come up from time-to-time: a sprained ankle, a rash, strep throat, back pain. We might even just be there for a checkup or a vaccine. Assuming that counseling is only for people with serious mental illness is about as silly as assuming that going to the doctor is only for people who are terminally ill.