What Is Therapy?
When we undertake a course of psychotherapy we are embarking on a process of self-discovery and personal growth. This could either be learning ways to deal with difficulties we are facing, finding ways to fulfil our potential or overcoming traumatic experiences from our past.
Initially psychotherapy helps by facilitating us in developing awareness of our psychology.
The awareness of how we feel, think and behave and what our perceptions are of ourselves and others is important in the process of change.
When we discover how our perceptions and attitudes affect our decision making process we can approach situations in a new way. This awareness is invaluable because essentially what we are doing is bringing our unconscious processes into our conscious awareness.
As we become more aware of our unconscious we are able to process things differently and make decisions which are based on creating healthier outcomes.
Healthier decisions are easier to make when we are not in internal conflict; i.e. where part of our psyche is acting in ways which holds or keeps us stuck. Without this self sabotage we can start to move beyond our self-limiting beliefs.
This essentially is what psychotherapy is and the therapist can help us to move along this process through compassion and understanding.
The therapist can reflect back to us, in many different ways, who we are and how we experience ourself. This can help us learn about the decisions we have made about ourself and how these decisions influence our sense-of-self.
Prior to this experience of receiving feedback from a skilled, intuitive therapist we have probably believed that what we thought and felt was normal.
Indeed it was normal for us because we lived with this understanding for a long time as our perception of things had become more ingrained through our reinforcing psychology.
We can often experience a sense of enlightenment when we realise that what we have always thought as “normal” is our unique psychological outlook based on our past experiences. We can then approach our problems from a more expansive viewpoint.
When this moment is reached in psychotherapy we can truly feel a sense of liberation.