Therapy: Going Beyond the Quick Fix
Many people these days seek out professional psychological help for their difficulties. They hope that by seeing a mental health professional they will change the things that they see as wrong in their life, and will consequently feel less anxious, more confident and have better relationships. While this can be true, it is possible that you may get much more if you go beyond the quick fix.
Many people begin working with a counsellor or psychotherapist for a number of really practical reasons. They feel blocked in their personal and professional life and want to make some changes. They feel that by acquiring some new skills and different perspectives they will beat these problems, and that their lives will be much the same, except that they won’t feel quite so angry or anxious, they will be more content, less frustrated and less stressed. Many people imagine that this will be a process of them acquiring more skills from me, or getting my advice about a problem.
Beset by problems
Whilst this is often true – that they will acquire new skills that will change these situations – much more is actually possible. It is hard to see how much things can change in your life when you are beset by problems; all you hope for is a reduction in your problems and some relief. This breathing space helps you again face a difficult world.
In my experience, clients in psychotherapy can experience much more than this. Once some of the immediate difficulties are a little relieved and they are a little less stressed, clients can start to have an expanded vision of what they want for themselves and what might be possible. They start to believe they could have new direction and a fresh start, and that some of the things that have always troubled them could start to be lifted.
The possibilities are far beyond the quick fix.
I think people don’t understand that this is possible. The reason? They don’t yet have the experience of working deeply with someone; it's therefore hard to imagine that the process could be anything more than skills transference or advice. But it is neither of these things that makes for significant change; it is the experience of both therapist and client working together, both committed to the changes you want to make.
This isn’t always an easy process, but one with the potential for transformation.
– Tim Hill
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