‘‘What will PSYCHOTHERAPY do when nothing can be done in my situation!’’
This is usually our first reactive thought when we are trapped in a difficult situation, especially when we have tried all possible ways that we could think of but none worked. What is psychotherapy? Is it a genie, which would resolve our problems completely and fulfil our wishes? Well, this is a genie with a healing touch that enables ‘you’ to resolve your problems by healing your pain, help you see new perspectives, possibilities and attain your true potential, empowering you to deal effectively with respective difficulties and attain benefits. It’s an unconditional support system that helps you seek happiness on which you may have lost hope…
Psychotherapy is ‘‘an interpersonal process designed to bring about modification of feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour which have proved troublesome to the person seeking help from a trained professional.’’ (Hans Strupp, 1978) Through psychotherapy, psychologists help people of all ages live happier, healthier and more productive lives by applying scientifically validated procedures.
Grounded in dialogue, psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment in which you and your psychologist work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that might be keeping you from feeling your best. By the time you’re done, you would not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but would be equipped with new skills to cope with any challenges that might arise even in future.
Many studies on neurobiological effects of psychotherapy have witnessed positive effect of psychotherapy on our brain areas – different psychiatric disorders show few characteristic changes of regional brain activity that may be normalized by psychotherapy. This is not to say that psychotherapy has a positive effect only in cases of psychiatric disorders or that psychotherapist talks to the synapses! The psychotherapist still talks to ‘you’ the person.
Some people seek psychotherapy because they have felt depressed, anxious or angry for a long time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still others may have short-term problems they need help navigating. They may be going through a divorce, feeling overwhelmed by a new job or feeling shattered by a family member’s death. No matter what situation one might be undergoing, the experience of pain is very personal and needs to be handled with genuineness and care.
Because of the many misconceptions about psychotherapy, you may be reluctant to try it out. Even if you know the realities instead of the myths, you may feel nervous about trying it yourself or be hesitant or skeptical about sharing something intimate with a stranger. Overcoming these stoppers and taking a step towards psychotherapy is worth it. That’s because, any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, psychotherapy can help.