When someone toys with the idea that “maybe they need to talk to someone” it’s usually at a time of extreme distress. Thoughts and behaviors might have shifted. Perhaps someone has pointed out to you that they you don’t seem like your usual self; maybe more moody, angrier, sadder, not functioning as you previously had. Maybe there’s a sense that you yourself don’t even recognize your own behaviors or thoughts. Sleep patterns or appetite behaviors may have shifted. The previously happy-go-lucky spark might be gone….. Or maybe, it’s never ever really been there.
Psychotherapy is the practice of meeting with a trained professional who will assist you in getting to the heart of the matter and helping you to understand where your blockages are, where your emotions and intellect are working at cross-purposes. It is a practice of uncovering and discovering. It’s hard work. It’s the most worthwhile work you’ll ever do.
Hopefully, in this process, you will discover in more depth why you feel the way you do, why these behaviors and feelings are now showing up in the way they are, (otherwise knows as symptoms.) And, in the uncovering and discovering, scary and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings find a new path. It becomes easier to be in your own skin. When you know and understand where your real motivations come from, when you have a clearer, more forgiving stance of where you’ve been in this lifetime, the concessions you’ve had to make to get here, it frees you up to make different, healthier choices in the present and future.
Sometimes people make the choice to go into therapy at a time when they’re not in acute distress. Perhaps it’s a path of self-discovery or part of their training to go into a helping profession. That can be a very valuable pursuit; understanding what and where your emotional buttons are, where you can get hooked is an important skill to help in all interpersonal relationships.
There are times when even the most well-adjusted, self-actualized person can be hit with life circumstances that bring you beyond your abilities to deal. A Katrina of events can bring any of us to our knees. The death of a loved one, a loss whether it be a job or life partner, circumstances beyond our control can trigger thoughts and feelings that are beyond the coping skills that previously worked so well. And, sometimes current life events can reach back and re-trigger old feelings and circumstances that we thought had been previously dealt with. Working with someone to re-discover the earth under your feet again can be crucial.
Sometimes talking isn’t enough. There are people who are greatly aided by the use of psychotropic medications in conjunction with psychotherapy to help alleviate some of the symptoms that are not allowing a person to function optimally. A psychiatrist is the best person to accurately prescribe these medications.