Why do people choose to have therapy?
Usually, individuals choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. Sometimes people can be isolated but at other times, even where an individual has the most supportive family and friends, they can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why, for example, they may be feeling anxious and/or depressed. Or it may be easier to talk about personal, family, or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family. Other life issues and events which can be very difficult to deal with include bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, bullying and so on. However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of it, before choosing to have therapy. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life and spirituality. All of these reasons and more will bring individuals to therapy.
What is therapy?
Therapy is time set aside by you and the therapist to look at what has brought you to therapy. This might include talking about life events (past and present), feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The therapist will do their best to help you to look at your issues, and to identify the right course of action for you, either to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find ways of coping. Talking about these things may take time, and will not necessarily all be included in one session.
What therapy is not
Therapy is not advice giving or persuasion orientated to the therapist’s point of view... although therapists may offer information and some therapeutic approaches may ask you to do homework as part of your therapy. Nor is it just a friendly chat discussing the week’s events as you would with a friend. Talking with a therapist is not the same as talking with a friend, a parent or sibling, who would probably have an opinion about the issues discussed. The therapist is an impartial professional, who is able to listen to you non-judgmentally and to work with your emotions and not get emotional themselves. The therapist helps you to develop understanding of yourself and others and to find your own solutions, making no demands upon you except for the terms agreed in your therapeutic contract.
by H.Dale BACP