Therapy is that one newbie in today's society that everybody is curious about, but only from a distance! We hear about it, we see it in movies and shows, but only seldom do we get into the depth of it to understand the whys and hows of it, to be able to appreciate it when you have no one to talk to.
What is Therapy, Really?
Therapy, commonly known as psychotherapy refers to mental health services that cater to a broad range of issues in order to help people better equip themselves with their surroundings. It focuses on human behaviour, feelings, emotions and one’s interaction with the environment as well as with the self. There are different types of approaches to psychotherapy all of which put a unique lens to view an individual and their issues, but a key component in all the approaches is to actively listen to the individual, in order to help them adapt and function in a way where they can achieve their desired goals, feel content and satisfied and stay healthy.
Is Therapy Different from Counseling?
Although the terms counselling and therapy are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between psychotherapy and psychological counselling. Counselling focuses on specific issues and is designed to help a person address a particular problem. The focus may be on problem-solving or on learning specific techniques for coping with or avoiding problem areas. Counselling is also usually more short-term than therapy and deals with more surface-level issues. Whatever may it be, therapy or counselling, all that we can assure you is that it is always worth investing for your own mental peace <3
Active Listening - A Major Component of Psychotherapy
“We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know” Carl Rogers had rightly recognized the importance, as well as the need to listen to people around us. In a world like ours, where everyone seems to be running some sort of a race, trying to juggle problems of their own, there is definitely a scarcity of ears to be able to absorb everything that we may have to say all along. As much as talking and connecting is a component of communication, actively listening to what the other person may have to say is equally essential for a better understanding to exist between people. Therefore, listening is more than the passive act of receiving or hearing.
It is the “conscious processing of the auditory stimuli that have been perceived through hearing”. Active listening requires a great amount of attention to be paid to what the other person may be expressing in order to be ‘active’ in its true sense. With awareness comes the ability to be able to respond appropriately, understanding the context as well as the need of the situation. Many times, we hear people say, “You’re my therapist!” in a context wherein we see the other person, equivalent to a therapist who’s always there to listen to us and sometimes feed us with advice, suggestions, or even validate us with things we might want to hear, unlike what a therapist does in reality. One cannot deny the fact that listening is therapeutic, so much so that it is one of the major pillars on which counselling as a process is also built.
As social beings, who are constantly in need to connect, express, and share, there are countless voices that are yet to be heard. It is for these voices that we have professionals like counsellors or therapists, to name a few, who may charge a certain amount to be able to listen to you, but also assure to be all ears to you, for you to feel heard, in order to move ahead in life with much more clarity.
Here Is Why Therapy Should Be on Your Self-Care List :)
It is only a myth that people with prolonged symptoms or people who have already been diagnosed can/should avail therapy or counselling. It is absolutely alright for anybody to choose to avail either of the services at any point in their lives, as depression or even anxiety can set in depending on how your life may be going at that very moment. Other instances where many people consider taking professional help are:
- facing a significant crisis
- dealing with an extended period of anxiety or depression
- coping with a major life transition
- dealing with complicated family dynamics
- grappling with problems in a relationship
- trying to manage addiction or substance abuse
- wanting to make changes for better mental and emotional health
Regardless of your reason, therapy offers a broad array of benefits for all of us. Here are a few benefits you’d definitely experience after getting into therapy:
- With more and more awareness about yourself as well as the people around you, you’d be able to have more control over your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
- Development of a sense of self is also a part of therapy, where there is improved self-esteem and self-acceptance.
- One also gains the ability to modify and change maladaptive behaviours.
- As soon as you start to gain insight into why you’re what you’re feeling, there’s some amount of relief from the existing unpleasant emotions/feelings.
- With an improved sense of self, along with greater awareness, therapy also enables a person to feel confident while they’re making decisions about their life.
- Managing and expressing one’s emotions is a key learning that happens with time in therapy.
- Improved abilities for problem-solving and conflict resolution
- Therapy is also very well known for enabling people to develop better coping mechanisms in order to deal with stressful situations.
In a time where ‘therapeutic’ is casually used for anything that really makes us happy or leaves us feeling peaceful, I wonder what our apprehensions may be with taking actual therapy?! If you’re someone who hasn’t really been to therapy yet, but has also realized the need to, or has been contemplating to go therapy anytime soon, then this is your sign to do it now! We understand, acknowledge and appreciate all the courage that it takes to come to terms with what you’re feeling and what you should do next amidst all the social stigma attached to therapy.
At Now&Me, you can instantly connect with therapists and start your journey with one click, where you connect with mental health professionals, book a session at your convenience, and find the best fit for yourself, all on one platform!
Sign up today to share your experience of taking therapy, and help others take their first step :)
1. Why Is Being Mentally Healthy Important for Each One of Us?
Mental health doesn’t only refer to the mind but also the emotional, psychological and social aspects of our very being. The body and mind are very much connected, and when either of them is affected, we can’t function properly. Imagine having a major headache or feeling lonely because of shifting to another city; in both cases you will feel uncomfortable and uneasy, even though the former indicates physical pain, and the latter deals with emotional issues. Therefore, in order to function properly and achieve the goals that we set, it is exceptionally important to keep our mental health at peace because all of us deserve a peaceful and content life.
2. When Is Therapy Not Helpful?
Therapy is primarily helpful and successful for most individuals, but it may not be helpful for a few people at first due to a number of factors, which may be at the client’s end or at the professional’s end. One should be motivated enough to be able to work through therapy, as the professionals are only there to guide you but not rule your life. Similarly, the professional should also suit you and your requirements. It is not necessary that the first psychologist or counsellor will result in being your perfect fit. Feel free to have sessions with a couple of them to be able to identify what you’re really looking for instead of giving up on therapy!
3. By When Can I See The Result of Taking Therapy?
Be it therapy, or counselling, unlike physical wounds, you can’t really see how much you have healed with each passing second of your day. Therapy is a long process for you to start seeing results. It is extremely subjective as to what results are you even expecting. There are both short term and long term goals in therapy, which are fulfilled from time to time. Working things through therapy definitely takes at least some amount of time, and the moment you start to feel a little more clear about things you were extremely confused about earlier, I guess you’d realize how far you’ve come in therapy :)