Why Have Therapy?

We all have times when the going gets tough and we need someone who will really listen to us and our concerns and work with us to help us sort things out, so that we can feel better.

The talking therapies, i.e. counselling and psychotherapy, have been shown to help people deal with difficulties such as stress, anxiety, anger, depression, relationship problems and breakdowns, low self-esteem and confidence, loss and grief, bereavement, and personality difficulties.

Why Have Therapy

“To overcome difficulties is to
experience the full delight of existence”.
(Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher)

WHO CAN THERAPY HELP?

Here are a few examples of the type of problems people go to a therapist with:

Are you anxious like Tom?

Tom is 24. He feels very anxious. He took many drugs in his late teens and now thinks he has caused himself some permanent damage. He just wants to get on and start having fun again.

Or are you stressed and frustrated like Jenny?

Jenny is 48. She has been working for the same company, doing the same job, for 20 years. She is stressed and frustrated. She feels stuck in a rut and does not know what to do. The only thing that has changed with her job is that it is now even more stressful, because of the recession she is expected to just take on the work of colleagues who leave and are not replaced.

Or are you having marriage problems like Jim and Louise?

Jim and Louise are both 30. They got married 12 months ago. Before getting married they went out together and then lived together happily for 5 years in total. Now they keep rowing and they aren’t even sure if they like each other anymore.

Or do you feel depressed like Paul?

Paul is 55. He has felt fed up and low for months now. He is no longer enjoying his job and he feels too tired to do the chores his wife lines up for him at weekends. He doesn’t even enjoy watching the football anymore. And what bothers him more than anything else is that he has gone off sex, which up to this point has been something he has really enjoyed.

Or did you have an unhappy and abusive childhood like Sandra?

Sandra is 35. She is married with children and gets on fairly well with her husband. However, she has been drinking more lately and her family and friends are getting onto her to stop. Sandra keeps remembering how her father used to hit her and how her mother was so critical and never hugged her or said she loved her. Sometimes she just finds herself crying and then at others she gets very angry with the children and then afterwards feels dreadfully guilty.

Or are you grief-stricken like Karen?

Karen is now 52. Her mother and father have both died within a year of each other. It has been a very tough time for Karen. Her mum died suddenly and unexpectedly and then 6 months later her dad found out he had terminal cancer. Karen did all she could to support her dad. She now feels exhausted and so very sad. She keeps saying “I’m an orphan now”.

N.B. None of the above examples are of actual real life people.

“All growth is a leap in the dark,
a spontaneous unpremeditated act
without benefit of experience”.
(Henry Miller, Novelist and Painter)

DR M SCOTT PECK ON THE BENEFITS OF THERAPY

“Genuine psychotherapy is a legitimate shortcut to personal growth which is often ignored. One of the most frequent rationalizations for ignoring it is to question its legitimacy by saying, ‘I’m afraid that psychotherapy would get to be a crutch. I don’t want to become dependent on a crutch’. But this is usually a cover-up for more significant fears. The use of psychotherapy is no more a crutch than the use of hammer and nails to build a house. It is possible to build a house without hammer and nails, but the process is generally not efficient or desirable. Few carpenters will despair of their dependency on hammer and nails. Similarly, it is possible to achieve personal growth without employing psychotherapy, but often the task is unnecessarily tedious, lengthy and difficult. It generally makes sense to utilize available tools as a shortcut.”

(Quote from: Dr M Scott Peck (1978) The Road Less Travelled. A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth. London: Touchstone.)

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