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Ten Things a Psychologist Does Not Do

Have you ever seen a movie where the therapist makes the client lie down in a reclining chair and talk over every piece of their childhood?


What about a movie where the protagonist is portrayed as extremely unstable and “crazy”? I’m thinking Girl Interrupted or A Dangerous Mind.


You may have even watched a TV series, like The Sopranos, In Treatment and Gypsy? In these series, what the psychologist does is perhaps even more interesting than the patients!


These shows and movies are great entertainment; naturally you sit there glued to the screen, intrigued by the eluded power and mind-reading abilities of the therapist. Or perhaps you are captivated by the drama created by the patient. Fortunately, this is not real life – therapists are not like they are portrayed in the media, and patients (which we call “clients”) are definitely very different from TV. Here are ten common misconceptions about psychologists:

#1 We don’t read minds! A psychologist does not know what you are thinking. We may sometimes have an idea of patterns of thinking, but this is purely based on what you have shared with us before.

#2 We do not have a perfect life. Just like anyone else, we have problems in our lives that crop up that cause emotional distress. We also experience conflict in our relationships from time to time. We have days where we are happier than others.

#3 We are not judging you. Our job is to remain judgment free. Instead of judging you, what a psychologist does is try to understand you fully. We work alongside you to understand your “story” and are interested and attentive to your needs.

#4 We never think you are “crazy”. We have a deep understanding of the human mind, and know it sometimes is not our best friend. The human mind is like any other body organ; sometimes one part struggles and it can cause a chain of events. These chains of events are familiar to us, and not unusual. We see many people with similar difficulties, so nothing really surprises us.

#5 We don’t just see people who have serious struggles. We often see people with small problems or dilemmas. We also work with people who don’t see anything wrong with their mental wellbeing, but simply want to improve their life.

#6 We don’t make you sit on a reclining chair. Sure, this is sometimes an option, but it is not common. Instead, we tend to enjoy sitting opposite you, so we can see you and enjoy our relationship.

#7 We are not obsessed with your childhood. Yes, childhood is often important to us, sometimes more important, depending on the nature of your issues. However, we typically don’t spend session after session talking about childhood.

#8 We are not “analysing” you. Rather, what a psychologist does is try to understand your difficulties in the context of your life and history. You are a human to us, and it’s important we understand your full “story”.

#9 We don’t prescribe medication. This job is for psychiatrists, who have medical degrees. This means they understand how the brain works on a neurochemical level, and can prescribe suitable medication when needed.

#10 We don’t always address your problems. In fact, a lot of the time we are celebrating and discussing your wins in life and your strengths. What a psychologist may do is focus on growing your strengths further.

What we are like at Peaceful Mind Psychology?

We are compassionate, warm and professional psychologists based in Melbourne who love working with our clients. We are passionate about improving others wellbeing and collaborate with you to create positive change. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.