Tag Archives: how effective is psychotherapy

Understanding The Benefits of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy has often not gotten the respect it deserves, but this method of healing mental health disorders proved to be very effective owing to the way it takes in the full scope of the human experience and encourages the authentic change in the way client relates to the world and people around him.

Psychotherapists work not only on their patients’symptoms, but on their characters, understanding that character coalesces from both our genetic temperaments and the experiences of our formative years. Psychotherapists understand that when those formative experiences are negative (involving things like abuse and deprivation), our internal environments and our predictions for the future become similarly negative and flawed, leading to the development of mental illness.

Psychotherapy effectively analyzes the mental “play”that the patient has (involving people as “characters”, imagined scenarios, plots, etc.) finding where it is problematic and why, and encouraging the patient to mourn the original pain that caused these problems. Once this pain has been mourned, the patient can dismantle the problematic play and write a new, more positive one in its place—something which medication alone cannot ever accomplish for the patient.

Too many mental health professionals treat mental illness as simply a medical problem, not taking into account that it is, like all human suffering, also a human problem. This is an inherently narrow and incomplete way of looking at psychiatric symptoms; no human suffering can be properly understood without also examining the human condition and the human experience, including everything from relationship struggles, to parental abuse, to questioning the meaning of life, to toxic coping mechanisms, and much more.

How Effective is Psychotherapy?

According to the American Psychological Association, ‘Psychotherapy’ includes any of a group of therapies used to treat psychological disorders, focusing on changing faulty behaviors, perceptions, thoughts, and emotions that may be associated with specific disorders. People sometimes question the necessity of consulting a psychotherapist at a point when they can easily talk to their friends or family members about it. This query can be simply satiated by the fact that the therapists are trained professionals who handle situations in novel ways unknown to common people. Rather, untrained individuals can unknowingly cause more damage when trying to provide help.

“Psychotherapy Research” journal quotes a number of studies that have been successful in proving the effectiveness of the therapies. They have indicated that a successful therapy brings about positive changes in people’s lives. This, in turn, facilitates the patient to overcome his distress. The studies indicate that 75% of the patients undergoing psychotherapy show a positive signs of improvement. Some researchers also refer to the fact that an average person who undergoes treatment is in a better state of mind than 80% of those who do not undergo psychotherapy at all. Yet, it is very difficult to evaluate effectiveness of psychotherapy due to variety of mental disorders and individual conditions of patients.

Can Psychotherapy Be Beneficial For You?

There are several things in our daily life that we cannot deal with. Though we try and manage everything that is happening around us, there are, however, times when we cannot control what happens around us. This is where we are disturbed, perturbed, and anxious. We do not know who can help us. We are out of choices and we know we will need help from an expert. A psychologist is a person who can help you in such a case.

A psychologist is like a counselor. He or she is someone who would listen to you, analyze your problems, and help you find solutions to many of the problems that feel unsolvable. People come to psychologists for a range of problems. Here are some of them:

Psychotherapy: Things to Keep in Mind

In this fast-paced world, where everyone is vying to be on the top, the feeling of depression and anxiety is rather common. A survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that over 30 million Americans seek therapy for various issues beyond their control, such as personal relationship issues, health issues, stress from workplace, some tragic accident, substance abuse, etc. Such losses can be of terrible nature and can ruin the mental health of a person. In those situations, a licensed professional is needed to sort out the problem and bring back the situation to normalcy.

When is therapy necessary?

  • Feeling of helplessness and despondency in spite of social support.
  • Inability to perform daily activities and problem concentrating on work.
  • Intense feeling of anxiety and dreadfulness.
  • Indulgence in self-harming behaviour, like drug abuse or behaviour considered dangerous to others.

Why Psychotherapy is Not a Quick Fix

We live at a fast pace. We want it fast and done with immediate results. We want easy solutions that come in the form of a pill. And when it hurts, we just want it to stop or feel numb until it disappears. But it doesn’t work like that in psychotherapy. Why can’t psychotherapy be a band-aid like everything else out there?

Last month I took professional training on psychological and educational testing from Dr. Tali Shenfield, so I asked her this question. Her answer: Sometimes, you can “stop the pain” and fix apparent problems in just a couple of sessions but it wouldn’t last. Because you just can’t sweep the dirt under the rug and not expect it to blow up in your face one day.

The diagram “Being Defensive” at the bottom of this post is the best visual representation of psycho-therapeutic view of the person, looking at this diagram you can immediately understand why the path to “real you”  takes so much time.