Is there a benefit to talking with a stranger once a week about your life struggles? Simple answer, yes.
Therapists guide people through the personal and painful experiences of their lives, helping them overcome depression, live with loss, and stop self-destructive behavior and patterns. So what exactly happens during therapy?
Unlike medical doctors who diagnose and prescribe a treatment plan, therapists take a slightly different approach. Their focus is on listening and assisting patients in finding their own solutions. Patients have the answers within themselves and the role of the therapist is to help patients trust themselves and understand past decisions and the consequences of those decisions. Therapists can then provide clarity on behavior and making better choices.
Therapists do more than just listen to their patients - they make eye contact, allow patients to pause as they hear themselves think and let themselves feel. People typically cover up and avoid their thoughts and feelings with words or behind a phone or screen. Therapists see, hear, and acknowledge patients and it’s something many don’t get enough of in today’s society.\
People often struggle with self-compassion and are very hard on themselves for mistakes or perceived failures. Therapy is a combination of accountability and vulnerability. It allows patients to view their mistakes or regrets and take responsibility, learning from the experience rather than beating themselves up and remaining stuck or in a destructive pattern.
For individuals grieving a loss, therapy can help them recognize how the grief is affecting their lives and provide a framework for working through it and integrating it into their days. Loss isn’t something that people accept and “get over.” Grief is an ongoing process that a therapist can help a patient navigate.
No matter what issues or challenges motivate individuals to seek therapy, the common theme is lack of connection. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety all stem from a lack of community and the 24/7 on-call lifestyles prevalent today. Despite social media and our endless online connections, people are more isolated and struggle to have meaningful interactions. Therapy teaches individuals to connect first with themselves and in turn, they’re inspired to connect with people in their lives in different and more fulfilling ways.