The Reason I Love Psychotherapy

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Psychotherapy is a professional conversation focused on increasing self-awareness and mental, emotional and relational well-being.” ~NationalPsychotherapyDay.com


I LOVE psychotherapy! I believe everyone can benefit from it. Therapy has completely changed not only the way I view myself, but the way I view the world around me & the people in it. Psychotherapy is awakening, enlightening, & insightful. It increases self-awareness & helps build self-esteem.

For some reason visiting a therapist is still taboo. There’s stigma attached to it. It’s almost as if by admitting that you go to therapy, you’re also admitting that something’s wrong with you. That’s ludicrous! By going to therapy you’re being proactive in your mental health care. You’re taking self-care steps that will help you flourish in all areas of your life!… Personal, relational, career, self-awareness, self-esteem, self-discovery… You’d probably be surprised by the number of people who you know go to therapy.

Let’s Clear-Up Misconceptions

In today’s psychotherapy, clients do not typically lay down on couches with their eyes closed. You discuss only what you’re comfortable discussing & treatment caters to the individual. Sessions are typically one hour-long in length, but vary, & can last anywhere from a few months to years depending on a clients needs. A therapist & client usually meet once or twice a week, or even every two weeks. But all of this is dependent upon the client’s needs. There are also therapy groups.

PSYCHOTHERAPY

Therapy is natural, which may be a highlight for those preferring to steer clear of medication. However, there are many instances that still warrant the use of medication. I’m most definitely a proponent of medication if a doctor & patient mutually agree upon it. I wouldn’t be sitting here typing without it. But many people feel differently, & even I chose therapy first over medication when it came to my child.

In my opinion, taking psychiatric medications without addressing the underlying issue is like applying a band-aid to an open wound. It may stunt psychiatric symptoms short-term, but eventually they’re going to flare-up again. I’ve seen it happen. There’s a reason for those intense, debilitating anxiety attacks. Go find out what it is under the guidance of a supportive & compassionate, licensed professional.

» Psychotherapy’s Efficacy «

» In this article, Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D., consultant, researcher, author, & therapist pinpoints the seven features that distinguish psychodynamic therapy, thus rendering it so effective: 1} encourages exploration & discussion of full range of patient’s emotions 2} exploration of attempts to avoid distressing feelings 3} identification of recurring themes & patterns 4} discussion of past experience 5} focus on interpersonal relations 6} focus on therapy relationship 7} exploration of fantasy life.

» The results of psychotherapy tend to last longer and be less likely to require additional treatment courses than psychopharmacological treatments. For example, in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, psychotherapy clients/patients acquire a variety of skills that are used after the treatment termination and generally may continue to improve after the termination of treatment {Hollon, Stewart, & Strunk, 2006; Shedler, 2010}

» In studies measuring psychotherapy effectiveness, clients often report the benefits of treatment not only endure, but continue to improve following therapy completion as seen in larger effect sizes found at follow-up {Abbass, et al., 2006; Anderson & Lambert, 1995; De Maat, et al., 2009; Grant, et al., 2012; Leichsenring & Rabung, 2008; Leichsenring, et al., 2004; Shedler, 2010}

» The research evidence shows that psychotherapy is an effective treatment, with most clients/patients who are experiencing such conditions as depression and anxiety disorders attaining or returning to a level of functioning, after a relatively short course of treatment, that is typical of well-functioning individuals in the general population {Baldwin, et al., 2009; Minami, et al., 2009; Stiles, et al., 2008; Wampold & Brown, 2005}

stress_Fotor

It’s not always easy to be honest with ourselves. But I look at it this way, short-term discomfort for a lifetime of freedom. It’s absolutely worth it when you look at the big picture. Just imagine yourself standing on the other side of this hurdle. You look pretty damn awesome, don’t you? Even stronger & more emotionally mature than you already are?

Therapy has opened-up my world. It’s given me an understanding that I’d been seeking for years! I had a void within me & had no clue that I was the only person who could fill it. I did the work, but I couldn’t have done it alone. I now have a toolbox full of coping tools & life skills that I will carry with me forever. But even after thirteen years there’s still room for growth. There always will be & I love that! Nothing compares to the insight gained from a good, one-hour psychotherapy session!

My therapist of 13 years recently closed her private practice & in our last conversation she jokingly commented that I’m now a “therapy pro.” She said that I should have no problem determining whether or not a new therapist is a good fit {I hope she’s right!}. Checkout my blog post: 5 Things to Consider When Selecting a New Therapist.

SOURCES: American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, NationalPsychotherapyDay.com.

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer


2 comments on “The Reason I Love Psychotherapy
  1. Sandra says:

    I have searched for a therapist for years. I haven’t found the right fit. The problem I face now is that I’m so tired of telling my story it’s just easier living with it. I am going to check out your other post about 5 Things to Consider when Selecting a Therapist.
    Sandra recently posted…Teenage Angst Versus DepressionMy Profile

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