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Why do we lie to our psychologist? 5 factors that reduce the effectiveness of treatment

Study guide




It has happened to all of us that we have lied! This is not strange, but sometimes it is surprising to lie. One of these situations is a counseling session with a psychotherapist. Why do we lie when we are going to talk about our hidden angles to reach a positive result? Join us to tell you the reasons for lying to a therapist or psychologist. Understanding the reasons may help you ‌ perform better and be more honest در in counseling sessions with your therapist. This will help you get the most out of your counseling sessions.

In 2015, a comprehensive study was published by the American Psychological Association in a book entitled “Secrets and Lies in Psychotherapy.” In this study, 93% of participants confirmed that they had lied at least once in psychotherapy sessions. Some of them may be embarrassed to talk about their behavior and turn to lying; But know that the truth will eventually be revealed.

Lying to a therapist who aims to help us is unlikely to work. However, people lie to their therapist for some objective and psychological reason. In the following, you will get acquainted with these reasons.

1. blushing

In a previous survey, 61 percent of respondents claimed that the most important reason for their lack of honesty was embarrassment. Barry A. Farber, author of “Secrets and Lies in Psychotherapy,” believes that we often like to give our best; So even in such a secretive situation, we seek to defend ourselves. It is natural for people to be reluctant to reveal their innermost thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to be judged and judged by others, even if the judge is a psychotherapist.

Feelings of embarrassment and shame caused by, for example, infidelity, make the person reluctant to talk about it openly. It is difficult to admit such things, and lying is a way to escape from these unpleasant situations.

2. Fear of consequences

In many cases, people lie, experts say, to avoid consequences such as changing treatment. Many people are afraid of getting into trouble because of their professions; For example, they are worried that the therapist will stop treating them or punish them in some way.

Lying because of fear of the future and its consequences also applies to unhealthy and even dangerous behaviors. Nearly one-third of Farber and colleagues surveyed admitted to lying to their therapist about substance and alcohol use. 21% also confirmed that they lied about their eating habits.

According to Farber, people sometimes lie when it comes to addiction, eating disorders and dangerous behaviors; Because they do not want to give up their habits. These people believe that by talking about these addictive behaviors, the therapist will look for more details and insist on quitting.

Even people with less dangerous habits feel the need to lie; Because otherwise, the therapist encourages them to give up these habits, even if they are not ready to do so. In other words, these people are lying because they do not want to give up certain behaviors and habits that they enjoy.

3. Denial status

Sometimes it is difficult to lie to a therapist because of denial.

Denial is another reason why people are not honest in counseling. In fact, they do not want to lie, but they make their problem seem small. The reason for this is that they still can not admit that they have a problem. For example, a person with an alcohol problem may insist in a treatment session that he or she has drunk only a little during the week, when in fact he or she has been drinking too much. People need help to accept their problem before they can be honest with themselves.

Denial is also a common defense mechanism and coping skill for patients dealing with anxious situations. According to research, these stressful situations have a wide range: from an unchangeable situation such as illness to situations that are difficult to change, such as successive fractures.

4. Reluctance to recall the crisis

Another reason to lie to a psychotherapist is to limit the negative and overt effects of the truth: effects such as emotional suffering. These people do not want to talk about the crisis they have left behind; Because it bothers them a lot. They are afraid of becoming anxious, suffering, and suffering again by talking about painful experiences.

Sometimes, one does not realize the dramatic impact of the crisis and the anxious situation on oneself and one’s current situation. Crisis has no specific definition or format. You realize something has happened, but understanding it can be unconscious. Consider, for example, a patient for whom commitment in a relationship is difficult. After a while, it may become clear that he had an addicted father who was by no means a reliable person. In fact, the person has no intention of hiding the truth, but this has no place in his consciousness. As the treatment progresses, we finally get to the point where it makes sense to talk about it.

5. Attract the therapist

Sometimes we lie to the therapist because we want to get his opinion.

Attracting and pleasing others is another strong reason to lie, even to the therapist. Most people need to be loved by others. These people are afraid that by being honest about their feelings and mistakes, the therapist will no longer like them; So in order to win the heart of the therapist, they try to make themselves look good, even at the cost of lying!

What are the consequences of lying to the therapist?

Lying for any reason reduces the effectiveness of treatment. The therapist cannot help you by distorting or hiding your true experience. Therapists find that sometimes the patient goes into hiding or downplays certain events in his or her life. Much research has been done so that psychotherapists can better understand the patient’s honesty and use appropriate treatment.

Although coping with embarrassment, shame, and difficult life events can be daunting, honesty in psychotherapy is a healing process that has long-term positive effects. Being honest even with therapist treatment has positive results. When the therapist receives feedback on the ineffectiveness of part or all of the treatment, he or she is likely to look for a way to improve his or her work. An open and straightforward relationship with the therapist is not only beneficial for the individual during the session, but also beneficial for out-of-office relationships.

what is your opinion? How difficult do you think it is to talk about the hidden angles of personality and mind? How can this difficulty be overcome to achieve a positive result? What experience do you have with seeing a psychotherapist, being honest with him or her?

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you need to consult a doctor or specialist to use it. more information

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Why do we lie to our psychologist? 5 factors that reduce the effectiveness of treatment

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