How does Therapy work? I am often asked by clients, What will happen in a session? How many times will I need to come? How much does it cost?
In truth, the answer is that it depends……..
As a Humanistic therapist, I believe that the single most crucial factor and what determines therapeutic outcome is the quality of the relationship that we develops between us. Therapy can help people in many ways. For some, it provides a way to understand themselves more or to work out historical issues while others may have a particular issue that can feel like it plays out on repeat in their life.
Some people want to be heard by someone who can listen empathically whilst taking a neutral stance. Others, seek therapy to acknowledge and understand self-defeating patterns of behaviour that they want to change because it is jeopardising their health, their plans, or relationships with friends and families. Such as addiction and compulsive behaviours. In essence, wanting to make changes is their goal.
It might sound a bit predicable and possibly a bit tacky to describe therapy as a journey. It is. Some clients enter therapy with a specific outcome in mind, others come and by its process start to unravel and make sense of patterns, thoughts , feelings, reactions and relationships. Past experiences can be understood and in some cases grieved for and processed.
The journey of therapy often creates moments of clarity and increased self awareness. It’s also about building upon internal resources, skills, and new behaviours that you can check out in the therapy room and implement outside. Thereby improving areas of your life that need it. Making a choice to find a therapist isn’t a sign of weakness as some people may think. I believe it’s a crucial act of self-care to reach out for support from a professional when needed.
In terms of cost, it is a weekly commitment and an investment in your mental well being. It can help you to improve the way in which you relate to others. It can help you by learning to manage unhelpful and/or self-sabotaging behaviours. Whilst as siting you to harness new ways to navigate these thoughts feelings and behaviours more effectively. The opportunity to work through historic issues is facilitated, and latent misunderstood feelings, are felt, grieved for and acknowledged. Losses can be left behind.
Therapy “works” because it’s a different type of relationship, it can heal, Therapy also “works” because it creates a space, which is different to most other relational experiences. In so far as it’s confidential and safe which in turn can allow you to get in touch with’ stuff’ that we often hide from and deny. This can be to our detriment, as it tends to come out in other less helpful and self sabotaging ways. A professional therapist can help you understand and support the changes that you want to see in your life. Therapy can help, Therapy works.