Adapted from one of my all time favorite websites, The Book of Life, here is a list reasons you should go to therapy:
- Help with untangling our confusing feelings – We pay a price for the countless agonies and mistakes that stem from not properly analysing our inner confusions. We pick the wrong job; get together with a destructive person, run away from the right one; spend our money foolishly and don’t do justice to our deeper talents and aspirations. A therapist is committed to helping us make sense of what we’re saying and feeling, giving us courage to walk further into the labyrinth of our psyches. They can do for us what no friend, however well-meaning, has the experience or patience to do: play us back to ourselves accurately, carefully and sanely.
- Help us with being less defensive – Our characters are heavily buttressed by what therapists call ‘defenses’: strategies to prevent us from acknowledging painful but important emotions and desires. Therapy is a safe environment in which to discover more about the origins of our defenses – and ideally to shed a few of them, so as to be able to lead more exposed yet more fulfilled lives. Defensive behaviour requires therapy – rather than just a good dose of common sense – because we are sure to deny our maneuvers if someone calls us on them in an overly direct way.
- Help with bolstering a sane inner voice – In the course of our lives, we will, without doubt, be exposed to a cast of terrible role models – and are at risk of internalizing their unhelpful – but potent – approaches to life by developing what is termed ‘the internal critic”. These punitive, debilitating voices push us towards unhelpful ways of interpreting our own experience. One of the key tasks of the therapist is to expose us often enough to a more sane, respectful, reasonable and realistic outlook than our own, and help us to replace our internal critic with the therapist’s kindly, wise voice, which should, then, become our own.
- Help for couples to hear one another – Relationships can descend into shouting matches. Both parties are furious and out to wound, yet both are also too hurt to listen. In such chaotic situations, a therapist can become the wise broker, allowing each person to have their say, sympathizing with both parties, while taking neither of their sides.
If you are interested in reading the full, expanded version of this article, you can do so here.
Until next time, peace.