What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, also called counseling, is a journey towards improving the health, wellness and personal development of individuals. I believe that personal struggles and challenging life situations offer opportunities to create new paths towards growth and healing. A psychotherapist is a counselor, or therapist, who is a supportive guide who provides caring, nonjudgmental listening and skillful insights and interventions and specific ways to help you meet your therapy goals.
What can therapy do for you?
In therapy, many people make peace with their past by healing old hurts and regrets. The therapeutic relationship in many ways can help you decrease depression and anxiety and increase self esteem. During therapy, you can learn to take control of and manage your own feelings. Most individuals learn new ways of interacting with others and change their life patterns. You can learn to grow to be more self accepting and to be able to tap into inner peace even in times of turmoil. Still others find courage and strength to be more fully themselves and find that they take more personal risks and live more satisfying lives.
Most people find therapy to be helpful, however those who are motivated to create positive change in their own lives may find the process of psychotherapy truly transformational.
Why choose to start or restart therapy?
Nothing eases the mind like having someone listen. Whether we’re in a peaceful moment or a crisis, talking and sharing ideas can help us feel understood, validated, and supported as we navigate through life. Feeling that connection is one of the reasons why our friends, family, and loved ones are often so important to our happiness and fulfillment.
There are times, though, when it’s helpful to talk to someone who isn’t involved in our everyday life and has a more objective perspective. We all sometimes feel misunderstood, guilty, insecure, disconnected, or judged in our relationships. Because of this, everyone could benefit from having someone who can listen without judgment or defensiveness; someone who wants to see us grow, encourages us to embrace our strengths, and helps us take charge of our own lives. The confidence we gain from receiving guidance and confirmation on our life’s bearings can be invaluable for navigating our future.
For too long, seeing a counselor or therapist carried an unwarranted stigma of struggling with mental illness. But we all go through challenging transitions and stressful situations, and it takes maturity and self-awareness (and a certain level of sanity!) to realize how beneficial a bit of therapy can be. A therapist or counselor can be a confidante and provide the kind of support we could all use, especially during the stressful times in our lives.
That’s because licensed therapists and counselors see their clients as whole people, not just a collection of “problems.” They can help uncover strengths buried deep within us and reveal insights we may never have known or acknowledged. They can aid our understanding of our beliefs and patterns of thinking. They help us gain perspective on what is happening in our lives, clarify our dreams and goals for the future, and choose new ways of interacting with others.
And that puts a mind at ease.
For even more information about beginning therapy, read the below article by Amy Hooper, published in Be Well Magazine: