Learning the Language of Therapy
People come to therapy for a variety of reasons. It’s usually because they are concerned with some immediate problem that they are experiencing. This can be all sorts of things, but a typical reason for seeking help is a problem with relationships. In therapy, we work on these motivating issues and try to resolve things so your life becomes more manageable. But there is a lot more happening than first meets the eye. To begin we need to start to learn the language of therapy.
Side issues get addressed too
Along the way there are some other things that get addressed automatically through our work dealing with the central issue. These other benefits of therapy can be valuable – even more valuable than the reason you came – and it is these things you also get to take away.
The first one of these is increased self respect. Merely by starting the psychotherapeutic process, the message you are giving to yourself is “there are some things in my life that need sorting out, and I’m taking action by going to therapy”. This is very important – this is the start of the process of taking yourself and your wellbeing seriously, despite the cost and the time. The subtle change is significant.
Thinking about thinking
Secondly, you will also experience in therapy an increased ability to put your thoughts and feelings into words. When you start psychotherapy, you will want to spend time to tell me about yourself and your circumstances so I can begin to understand what is going on. In doing this you start to organise your thoughts, sort out what is important, and work on communicating things in the way that makes the most sense. This process leads to an increased sophistication in the way you think about yourself.
Your commitment to yourself
Thirdly, I find that when you start to sense the commitment that I make to working with you, your commitment to yourself increases as well. In this way, the work gets deeper and we start to explore things with a greater ease than we had when we first began.
Communication builds relationships
Lastly, in therapy you will often get a greatly increased understanding of the way that communication can build relationships. You become much more aware of how you like to be treated in relationships, how you want to be talked to and what you won’t tolerate. You also get to understand what might be useful responses to other people; this can be to support them or to make yourself clear to them.
These are just some of the ways that therapy helps you when you deal with your partner, family, friends and work colleagues. You didn’t come looking for these things, but you get to keep them anyway…
…and this is on top of the things you came to sort out.
– Tim Hill