If you experience difficult emotions, such as feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety, you may have wondered whether therapy could help you with your difficulties. It may be helpful to first about understanding what therapy is about.
There are different types of therapy and therapists work in different ways, but any first meeting with a therapist will involve them getting to know you and understanding more about your difficulties. A therapist will try to get an understanding of why you are experiencing problems at this time, and how these problems may have developed. They will try to get an understanding of how you think about yourself, others and the world.
So how does this then help? Often we can get caught up in different thinking patterns that are hard to break out of. These thinking patterns can impact enormously on how we see ourselves and the world. Sometimes these thinking patterns can be something we are aware of, but quite often they are not. They tend to be linked to more deeply held beliefs about ourselves, that have developed through our experiences in life. These thoughts and beliefs can often lead to us, for example, being very critical of ourselves, fearing that others will reject us, of feeling that we are not good enough.
We rarely examine these thoughts however, to question whether they reflect reality. Therapy helps us to identify what thoughts and beliefs we might hold, how they might impact on our difficulties, and how we can begin to question these thoughts. There are many different ways that a therapist can work to achieve this, but it is important for therapist to build a good relationship with people who come to them for help, to work at a pace that is manageable for a person, and to help to develop a sense of trust and openness.
Therapy therefore provides a space to think about your concerns and difficulties with another person who has the interest and expertise to help you think about yourself and your life in different ways and to avoid falling into traps in your life that may be very familiar to you but hard to break out of. It can help lead to a greater sense of well being, improve our relationships and helps us to manage the stresses of day to day life.
To discuss whether therapy might be right for you, you can arrange an informal, complimentary discussion with the author of this article, Dr Paul Osler, Consultant Clinical Psychologist by clicking posler@HealthcareOnDemand.org.uk or contact another member of the Healthcare On Demand mental health practitioners at http://healthcareondemand.org.uk/