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Understanding What Therapy Is All About

Understanding What Therapy Is All About

March 1, 2012

Understanding What Therapy Is All About

Learning How Therapy Is a Roadmap For Overall Life Success 


Once you realize that therapy is essential if you want to learn how to live life well by releasing hang-ups, setting goals, and using your potential, you will step onto a special path trodden by only a few.

Forging a High-Quality Life
Ancient cultures have built-in apprenticeships for living a good life according to their values. We have lost this social learning mechanism in the modern world, and the United States is hardly an exception. Psychotherapy helps replace what has been lost and neglected. It helps people improve their mood and relationships, increase positive attitudes, and feel more secure even during times of uncertainty. Life coaching also attends to these goals, although therapy has a greater focus on psychological roadblocks, emotional healing, introspection, and personal disclosure.

Therapy provides a missing education-training-connection link between person and life. So, it is not meant to be engaged only when one is “disturbed” or “troubled,” or as a “last resort.” Therapy is best consideredpart of personal growth, which includes healing, prevention, training, and success strategies. But you will not hear any of this on television.

Therapy Is Specialized Consultation
A good therapist wants the best for you, like a good teacher or minister. He also wants to give objective and expert service, like a good surgeon or financial advisor. However, consultation with a therapist is unique in that it is personal. It involves the client’s self-disclosure, trust, and connection.

Most people naturally wonder how a personal consultant can really care about them when there’s a fee involved. In short, good therapists really want to help people, feel very good when they do, and disappointed when they don’t. Many therapists feel a genuine emotional connection with their clients, even though clients are not part of their personal lives.

Progress in therapy depends mostly on the work the client does during sessions and between sessions. Although there are some shortcuts to improving mood and life quality, deep and ongoing progress is made mostly by consistent work by the client. In this way, it is similar to the amount of progress you make in school, in music, on the field, and at the gym.

Things To Learn In Therapy
Ideally, you should be learning how the mind works (what makes you “tick”), how your family upbringing influenced you, how to tame “ego” so to be open to new ways of thinking and doing, how to communicate better through respectful speaking and listening, ways to calm yourself and live in the “Now,” and practical strategies to achieve other goals and improve your mood.

Attributes of Good Therapy
These are like the attributes of a good or great therapist, and include:

  • Focus on problems, roadblocks, and goals in every session
  • Authentic interaction and responses from the therapist
  • Expert knowledge and direction
  • Practical methods that soon lead to your goals and good mood
  • Assessment of results by detailed report and surveys

To Your Health and Your Life
In the early 21st century, most people still think of therapy in terms of the traditional “medical model”—that is, see a therapist only when you are “sick” enough or stressed enough. Some seek therapy when self-medication and prescribed medication is not working well enough. Therapy is of course useful in these situations, and it’s very smart to seek it out. Yet it’s even smarter and wiser to use therapy as a mechanism for personal improvement, as a place to learn and discover, “know thyself,” get direction, and find practical solutions. This way, your life gets better and so do the lives of people close to you.

Action Steps 
To find ways to make therapy a part of your personal growth system, here are some things you can do right now:

1st Challenge the idea that you can do it alone. List some things that you’ve felt unhappy with for a while, then write the kind of advice that you would like to get.

2nd Find a therapist or two that you can consult with, by phone and then in-person, to get an idea of how that person can help you, and whether you “click.”

3rd To supplement your therapy work, learn about practical psychology by reading, seminars, and other media to both improve self and your life situation.

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