The most important part of therapy is your relationship with your therapist. Multiple studies and research projects over time have shown this.
That’s why important that you find the right therapist for you. (There’s item #1 for how therapy works!) Read on to know how else therapy can help you. Or, click here to find out how to find the best therapist for you.
WHAT THERAPY WANTS TO ACHIEvE
Therapy, at its core, is designed to help you become more familiar with your self, your mind, and patterns in your life, thinking, relationships, and so on. From there, therapy helps you apply this new self-knowledge to improve your mental health, relationships, self-esteem, and many other parts of your relationship with your self.
HOW IT GETS TO THOSE OUTCOMES
There are many different types of therapies, but regardless of how your therapist approaches you and your problem, how therapy helps you can be distilled to these common themes:
- You: yes, when you show up to therapy, you need to be ready to work, too. I’m excited to have you in my office, and to hear your story and help you, but I need you to want to work on this too. I wish I could, but I can’t do it for you.
- Relationship: you should feel safe, and able to be vulnerable, as you become comfortable with your therapist. Ultimately, this healing relationship will help you feel safe and confident with yourself and then with others.
- Reflection: In most forms of therapy, reflection is helpful in providing perspective. When someone recaps what you just said, you may see it differently than when you say it yourself.
- Honest Feedback: We therapists might give you feedback that others won’t. Not in a harsh or negative way, but we’re trained to tell you about our experience of you in a way to give you perspective on your thinking, and helps you understand how you show up to others. Feedback might sound like: “based on what we’ve talked about, this choice doesn’t appear to be aligned with your priorities.”
- New Ideas: Expect (at least in my office!) to have your ideas challenged. This helps broaden perspectives and imagine new possibilities.