Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why Therapy Works

Therapy can help you move forward,get unstuck,and make your relationships stronger and more intimate.Cognitive therapy can effectively reduce the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.Counselors can help you sort through old patterns and scripts you may have been living with that are holding back your development as a person.

The therapeutic relationship between a therapist and a client is a markedly different experience than any other relationship you can have in the real world.Everything you talk with them about is confidential(barring anyone being in danger,where the therapist has a duty to keep everyone safe).It's not a reciprocal relationship like a friendship,so other than paying the hourly fee,you don't have to "take care" of them.The therapist is focused solely on you,and can give you feedback on behaviors and feelings you are experience that may be keeping your pain going.

Therapists can teach you valuable things.You might want to learn how to fight fairly in your marriage relationship.Most couples don't have any training on how to work out conflicts:about money,sex,parenting,in-laws,time together/time apart,etc. Unless you learn to resolve differences in a respectful and loving way,people tend to repeat the same fatal mistakes in successive relationships.A good therapist can teach you to listen more deeply,be more aware of how your behavior impacts your partner,and empathize more with how things may feel from your partner's perpective.

You might want to become a better parent,and find yourself more frustrated with your teenager than you would like.The therapist can help you understand your child or teen's developmental stage and needs,and help you build a plan for responding more effectively. Few of us get any training for parenting,and it's possibly the most important job you will ever have.

You might be adjusting to a big life transition: a loss like a divorce or death of someone close to you,a shift from one phase of life to another---like developing an adult life after college,or becoming an emptynester, or adjusting to a new marriage,a blended family, or a relocation. A therapist can give you practical suggestions and strategies to help yourself be successful with the transition.Because of a therapist's special training,and their years of experience in helping guide people through similar life situations,they can help you cope in better ways.

Sometimes people are living with unresolved pain from childhood experiences and family relationships.Counseling can be the perfect safe place to unload your emotional backpack,make sense of it,sort it out,and go forward without carrying that pain.

You want to select a therapist that you feel comfortable with,and can be open with.It is good to check with them about their training and experience in helping others with similar concerns.Many therapists have specialties. You want to make sure they are licensed,ask about hours,their hourly fee,and office location.I often recommend that people speak to several therapists before deciding who you feel comfortable with and confident in.

I consider working with my counseling and coaching clients a great privilege. Helping people live more fully,love more deeply,and lead a more satisfying life and career is about as good as it gets.Therapy,if done well,could make the rest of your life so much better,and be money and time very well spent.

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