Why Do People Try (Psycho)Therapy?

What do people hope to gain (or lose) when they seek out therapy? That’s a great question!

Seeking psychotherapy and psychological counselling is a significant first step. The decision is usually based on wanting something different or better.

It is hard work to look at yourself and your life, and only you can decide if therapy is right for you! Do any of these reasons for seeking out therapy resonate with you?

Why Do People Seek Out Psychotherapy and Personal Counselling?

  1.  When an individual comes to therapy they are often looking for change. Often that change is centered on someone else. For example, “if only my partner, child, co-worker would just act differently I could be okay”. Often in therapy there is a realization that you can’t change others, and can only change yourself and your reactions. In some instances changing a situation might be appropriate and therapy explores these possibilities.
  2. Exploration of the past, present or future. For many people, understanding how the past is impacting the present leads to relief. “Why do I react in that way when this happens” is a common theme that helps people move forward. An examination of how present behaviour impacts the future can also be helpful. “If I do this now what will the impact be on my life in 2 days, 2 months or 2 years?”
  3. Brainstorming or problem solving is sometimes the desired goal for therapy. This does not mean the therapist solves your problems, rather they help you develop a plan to solve your own problems. You are the best expert on your life, however someone outside of the situation may shed new light on the problem.
  4. Someone to listen impartially and without judgement describes therapy. For many individuals they have never had this experience. Therapy is all about you and your challenges. Being heard and having someone witness your feelings such as pain, anger, embarrassment or shame is therapy.

Therapy can make a difference. It can help you start in a new direction. It can make situations easier. It is not however something that you can force another person to do. If you meet with a therapist and it is not a good fit, keep looking. The therapist that works for your friend may not be the therapist for you.

Listening. Guiding. Caring.