Should you try therapy?

There’s a lot that holds us back from trying therapy. There’s the idea that you must be a little mad or harbour some huge strange problem to go and see a therapist.

But therapy is for everyone because it entirely reasonable for a person to be anxious and confused by life, challenged by relationships, family life and the direction of your career. So really the only qualification for going to therapy is to be a normal human being.

There is also the worry about the strangeness of therapy, it will be you and a person you’ve never met to whom you’re expected to divulge nothing less than your inner life. Why not talk to a friend – however, friends are not properly trained to listen, friends interrupt, and sometimes it’s easier to tell someone who has no prior knowledge or expectations of you the big and important things about who you are, furthermore, therapists are the last people ever to judge the concept of a normal human being is far more expansive than that held by society at large. Therapists know how unusual and surprising we are especially around sex and anxiety. They know how surprising we all can be, it doesn’t frighten them, it intrigues and motivates them, that’s why they became therapists in the first place, they are, in the end, interested in mental health that means in helping.

So many of our problems come down to not having enough insight into how our minds work. What we want, what we fear, why we act the way we do, and overwhelmed by certain feelings. The goal of therapy is self-knowledge. By talking a lot to someone who listens very carefully over many weeks, you come to deeper insights into the mind you inhabit. Patterns start to emerge that show a particular way for approaching relationships or dealing with defeat, a recurrent not very helpful approach to dealing with jealousy, an ongoing thing with your sibling or father.

To get the most of therapy you need to approach sessions with honesty, openness and empathy. Every person is unique and the journey is different for each client. Therapy is not a quick fix and often requires time and commitment into the process to find answers into your problems.

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