As a marriage counselor, I have learned that one main reason that many people, particularly stoic types– male or female–are not a fan of therapy IS NOT because he/she doesn’t care about the relationship or their partner, IS NOT because he/she think they know everything, IS NOT because of money, rather, it’s because they fear it will lead to the end of the relationship.
Advances in brain scan technology confirm that talk therapy actually alters the neuron connectors in our brains. As we progress in therapy and learn new ways of thinking, communicating and dealing with emotion, we experience positive changes in how our bodies function, how we heal and deal with stress.
I am interested not just in what we talk about in the consulting room, but also getting people in there in the first place. I have seen the look of frustrated pain and concern on the face of many partners who “just wish their significant other would come to therapy.” It is really a simple remedy that can save people from a great deal of suffering.
The power of psychotherapy is the opportunity to deal with all of one’s feelings, according to one’s own internal pace, with real assistance. People, including myself, are often nervous starting out, but because it’s also interesting and novel to hear yourself talk out loud about your inner world, people settle in quickly and almost always appreciate the experience. In order for psychotherapy to truly be worthwhile, clients need to start out with (at least a little) curiosity, determination, courage and a desire for more in life.
It’s odd to me, even as a psychotherapist, that from the outside looking in, psychotherapy is about sitting across “just talking” as we’re (very often) drinking coffee. On the inside, however, huge tectonic plates are shifting in the psyche. It’s an evolutionary step by step process, some people change very slowly while others at light speed, until one day, a person doesn’t recognize the older version of their self.