What is Psychotherapy and how can it help me?
Taken literally Psychotherapy means ‘Soul Healing’, but in more practical terms it is a form of professional conversation, where personal issues and concerns can be explored in a safe and confidential space. Most people find that just being listened to in an attentive and non judgemental way can be helpful, but what else happens in psychotherapy?
The aim of psychotherapy is to help raise awareness of how your current way of thinking about yourself and of doing things may be preventing you from getting the most out of your life.
We can uncover fixed patterns of thoughts and behaviour that you may have developed over time (sometimes with their origins in childhood) that are no longer helpful in your current situation. Through experimentation with new behaviour in the present moment we can undo these fixed patterns and move forward in our lives.
Take for instance the issue of depression which is one reason people may seek a psychotherapist for help. Over time you may have learnt to keep your feelings hidden and not to express anger or hurt when things happened in your life. This may be because in your family you were taught not to show feelings or maybe the culture you grew up in frowned upon open displays of emotion.
The consequence of repressing so called ‘negative’ feelings can be depression. By coming to see me we might begin to explore how you have come to hide your feelings and then learn how to express them in a more healthy way. This then would help to alleviate any depression and help you regain control of your life. Psychotherapy is not a quick fix or a magic solution. Often problems are long standing and it takes time to undo old beliefs and habits and develop new healthier ones. Some people find that they can make significant progress in a short space of time and for others the journey is longer.
A commitment to improving the quality of your life and relationships is needed and the long term benefits of psychotherapy are truly worth investing in.