There is a lot of stigma and misunderstanding about therapy, perhaps less so now than in the past, but it persists, nevertheless. Flawed judgments include messages like “Only weak or needy people have therapy”, or “We should be able to sort out problems out by ourselves”. People often play down their emotional and psychological difficulties, thinking that because no big significant event has occurred, they have no right to feel how they feel or to seek help. These messages couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes courage to face your difficulties and fears, to seek help to make changes in your life, and to share your deepest feelings and thoughts with another person. It requires openness, honesty and a willingness to be vulnerable. It’s a brave move and I have the greatest of respect for everyone who makes it.
How do therapists help?
Counsellors and psychotherapists have been specially trained to work with people who are in distress. They listen with empathy and compassion, and without judgment. They help their clients to explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviour in a way that can enable them to make more sense of their difficulties and help them to think about possible solutions and changes they would like to make in their lives. The process of therapy is not about fundamentally changing yourself and becoming a different person; it is more about developing and evolving, understanding yourself better, becoming more authentic and confident in your interactions with others and improving the quality of your relationships. The therapist joins each client on their own unique journey of discovery and growth.
Benefits of therapy
Think about it…do you ever wonder why you have such strong emotional responses to things that happen in your everyday life? Are there situations in which you wish you could respond differently? Do you feel stuck, or dissatisfied, or feel like your life is living you, rather than the other way round? Therapy can help you to figure these things out, correct any faulty messages internalised in earlier life, remove any blocks to change, and bring you closer to fulfilling your potential and living a more meaningful life. It can lead to greater harmony within oneself, and in one’s relationships with others.