Psychotherapy is a great toolPeople compare a lot of things to therapy; hikes in nature, talks with a good friend, meditation, and even confessions to a priest. All those things are great, and can be important tools for a good life. But they are not therapy. Therapy is a uniquely potent tool for crafting a rich and satisfying life.
Therapy is no quick fix, and its value can’t be assessed on any particular session. In fact some of the “best” sessions can feel downright heart-breaking. But its goals are fundamental shifts in how we see/experience/think about ourselves, our relationships and existence itself. Therapy is a key tool to changing patterns that hinder our full engagement in living.
But do I need Therapy?To start, the question shouldn’t be if you need therapy, but if it would benefit you. Very few people need therapy, and only in a few circumstances. When need is the issue, we are usually discussing inpatient residential therapy for a serious crises or treatment for a person with a significant mental illness. Outpatient therapy can help when someone is in deep need, but it can also just be used as a resource for enriching one’s life. Therapy is a tool for improving our understanding of…
- what ails us as we lay awake in the middle of the night
- unexplained defensiveness when talking to our boss
- general feelings of stress without identifiable causes
- exasperation when dealing with our children
- repetitive fights with a partner
- feeling of hopelessness that surface unexpectedly in the day
- angry outbursts that hurt our relationships
- feelings of loss of control
- disparaging thoughts about ourselves and our lives