In the United States, 46.4% of all adults will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. That is almost half of the adult population. Of that 46.4%, only 41% of them in the past year have seeked professional care or other services. That number should be higher, but why isn’t it? There is a lot of scepticism circulating about whether or not talk therapy truly. I have outlined three ideas of the effectiveness of therapy that have been true in my own life, and in the lives of many others.
Top 3 Reasons Therapy Works:
1. Its scientific
Scientific studies show that therapy works just as well, if not better, than medication does to treat mental issues. According to Jonathan Shelder, the author of “Getting to Know Me: What’s Behind Psychoanalysis”, there are seven distinct features present in a therapy session. These features are exploring emotions, examining emotions, identifying recurring patterns, discussing past experiences, focusing on relationships, examining the patient/therapist relationship and valuing fantasy life (that means letting someone speak freely and openly about anything on their mind). These seven important aspects of therapy are things you will not get in a pill. How can medication relieve anxiety when you haven’t had the chance to work and talk through it yourself? Life long mental health comes from talking through issues and learning your own brain.
2. Getting to the Root
Therapy helps you get from the ‘what’ to the ‘why’, so you can better address the ‘how’ to overcome those obstacles. Therapy allows us to get to the root of the problem, rather than fixing it on the surface, only to have it jump back out at you again. In order to create a better future, you must first confront your past. For example, consider someone who struggles with a pattern of substance abuse. That is the ‘what’. Why are they struggling with substance abuse? Maybe they use drugs or alcohol to ignore or suppress painful feelings or memories. How can they overcome this? They can overcome substance abuse by getting to the bottom of why they abuse substances in the first place, and work through those problems and feelings. Sometimes it is hard to see in ourselves that our past experiences are connected to our present behaviors. But this is something a therapist can help you through by recognizing your behavioral patterns.
3. Knowing Yourself
Therapy values the importance of learning and knowing your brain. It may be weird to think that you don’t know yourself, but most people don’t understand their own processes of thoughts and feelings. In order to cope with a mental illness, like anxiety or depression, we need to know our own minds. Talking with a therapist is a great way to get to know and learn your mind. They can help you navigate your feelings, find patterns in behavior and what causes it, and they will help you process and work through difficult times. One of the greatest benefits of therapy is building your emotional resilience. Having strong emotional resilience means you have the ability to adapt in stressful situations, major or minor. These situations won’t have lasting negative effects and you’ll be able to work through it successfully. The key to therapy is not just healing while in therapy, but to continue to heal long after the sessions end.
Therapy isn’t your short term quick fix. Therapy offers lifelong benefits in the form of effective coping methods and insights into your own mind. Reach out to find out what we can do for you.