How Does Therapy Work?
Many individuals have never been to see a psychotherapist before and are not sure what the process looks like, and what the benefits may be. Even if you have been to therapy, each psychotherapist practices in a unique style that blends their own philosophies with theory and practice.
What this means is that you can expect your experience with therapy to be highly dependent on the relational space and connection you have with your therapist. More than just feeling better, psychotherapy can help you attain a greater awareness of your emotional landscape in light of your experiences. It can expand your emotional literacy - the ability to understand and articulate what exactly you are feeling at any given moment. You can become more in tune with your feelings and needs, how you have been affected by your interactions with others, your past experiences, and the patterns that emerge in managing your self, your relationships, and your life.
Depending on what values you have, you may feel more of a connection to a psychotherapist that has experiential or welcoming knowledge of your specific identity or concerns. Feeling seen, heard, deeply listened to and affirmed are but a few of the elements of a strong therapeutic connection. Beyond this, you may feel more comfortable if your psychotherapist's understanding of the issues you face feels positive, dynamic, nuanced, and reflexive - where your experience and knowledge are centered and your therapist helps you build a better understanding and coping style supplemented by their experience helping others with similar concerns.
In thinking about going to therapy, try creating a list of 3-5 goals you may have around awareness and coping. Would you like to reduce your anxiety or stress? Use substances differently? Gain communication and conflict resolution skills in your interactions with others? Increase your energy and ability to function as you would like? Deal with longer standing issues of harm from past experiences? Gain better self awareness and self esteem? Feel more positive about your own unique identity?
With a strong therapeutic bond, a sense of better functioning, self management and well being can be achieved in as little as 3 to 6 sessions. Investing in yourself takes many forms, and a supportive connective space in psychotherapy can truly elevate your self growth, set forth beautiful shifts that increase your sense of connection, and bring peacefulness in your journey.