How can I benefit from therapy?
The business of living is a stressful one. Across ages, cultures, demographics, and lifestyles, we are all faced with the same infinitely complex problem: that of coping with the human condition. True to evolution theory, most of us find ways to adapt and manage. Some use healthy coping mechanisms, others use less optimum strategies… but ultimately we all know that we have to find a way to keep going. Because as the famous and much-memed quote by Nanea Hoffman reminds us, ‘None of us is getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought.’
The good news is that there is a tried and tested way of improving your coping mechanisms and of generally helping you to survive the journey of life. It’s a route that requires time, commitment and buy-in, but its results will be well worth it. This route is choosing to embark on therapy.
Talk therapy, or ‘the talking cure’ was first identified by Josef Breuer in the 1880s, who laid the foundation for Sigmund Freud’s development of the field of psychoanalysis. The practice is based on the notion of talking through one’s problems with a therapist, in order to resolve them. Talk therapy works because, as psychotherapist Dr. Anca Carrington explains, ‘the psyche is a kind of space whose particular layout can only be traced through speech’.
Successful talk therapy journeys have many beneficial results for those who embark on them, including the following:
- Feeling less alone: Being able to voice your problems and discuss them with a sympathetic neutral party makes you feel you are held and supported through them.
- Overcoming difficulties: Therapy can help you to overcome difficulties – from major mental health issues such as anxiety and depression to daily difficulties of a less severe nature.
- Improving your emotional well-being: This also impacts on improved physical well-being in terms of increased amounts of sleep, decreased stress levels and a healthier lifestyle.
- Providing problem-solving techniques: Talking through your problems with an experienced therapist can help you to find ways of dealing with life’s constant ups and downs.
- Increasing self-awareness: The more we understand ourselves, the more we can understand our actions, motivations and Therapy can help us to get to know ourselves!
- Improving interpersonal relationships: Therapy can help us to find better or easier ways of engaging with family, friends or colleagues.
- Focusing on you: Simply setting aside time and mental space to engage and grapple with your own behaviour, decisions and relationships can be extremely beneficial in its own right.
Who Can Benefit?
There has traditionally been a pervasive notion that therapy is only for the mentally ill, but times are changing in this regard. The benefits of talk therapy are fast becoming recognized by mentally healthy individuals who wish to improve their relationships, better understand themselves and generally reap more out of their emotional lives.
Therapy can offer value to anyone able and willing to speak about and reflect on their thoughts, emotions, lives, and actions. The practice has benefited countless individuals since its inception and the validity of these effects is well established by research.
Now is the time to reach out and open a path towards growth.