What might you gain from therapy
Positive outcomes I regularly see people achieve by engaging in this work, include:
- overcoming the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress
- restoring openness, trust, and respect in relationships
- making effective and responsible decisions
- taking practical steps for building genuine self-confidence
- gaining a sense of moving forward in life and in relationships
- living authentically
- learning to generate new options in everyday situations involving others
- working through unresolved feelings such as anger, grief, and loss
- growing a capacity to feel, think and act, rationally, creatively, and passionately
- acquiring a clearer sense of self with worth, purpose, and vitality
- self-stability and self-renewal
- living with enjoyment and pleasure in daily life
What happens in a therapy session
The one thing that should always take place in therapy is that you get a clear sense of your therapist's receptive presence and a feeling that you have been heard fully and unconditionally. Otherwise, it is very likely that their responses to you will not be experienced by you as helpful. It is only when you can rely on such an atmosphere of trust and receptivity, that you are likely to want to explore aspects of your life that are deeply troubling.
The therapist's 'listening presence' can be remarkably potent, and it is not something that can be faked. Therapeutic listening is more than a person waiting to take their turn to speak. How you experience your therapist is usually a good indicator of whether or not the therapist is genuinely working hard to stay as near to your experience, and understand you as though they were in your shoes.
An invaluable aspect of therapy can be learning how to recognise and move through any limiting interpersonal patterns in one's life that arise in relationships with spouses, parents, friends, or colleagues at work. Aspects of these patterns can sometimes get usefully enacted between client and therapist. This learning is ideally facilitated when the therapist is able to remain steady, non-defensive and empathically open at all times, for you can then be supported in actively exploring the dynamics with them and bring that understanding to other relationships.