You may have been wondering about going for therapy, and what that would be like. Perhaps somebody mentioned they’ve been seeing a psychologist, or someone suggested you might benefit form ‘talking to someone’.
But what is it like? And does it actually help?
Psychology is a scientific study of the mind, behaviour, and emotions, and how our thoughts may give rise to difficult emotions or problematic behaviour. It is definitively not just for people with severe mental disorders, in fact, psychologists help far more regular people deal with everyday challenges such a grief, life changes and challenges, depression, stress and anxiety.
Psychologists are trained in the workings of the mind, therapeutic techniques that are proven to be successful, and how to help people overcome obstacles to their happiness. Psychologists are not psychiatrists, who are medically trained and can prescribe medication. Psychology has many applications, from educational, clinical, organisational, health, society, forensic, neuropsychology, research and so on.
The mind is highly complex, and conditions that relate to it can be difficult to treat. Thought processes, emotions, memories, dreams, perceptions, and so on cannot be seen physically, like one would a physical condition like a broken bone or heart condition. Yet these processes of the mind can have a profound impact on mood, relationships, the world of work, even our physical health.
Psychotherapy therefore is more than just talking, it is learning to understand the mind processes and habits and how they serve you, or not, and how to change them to more beneficial habits. Therapy furthermore often leads to greater insight and personal growth, and living not just a happier and more fulfilled life, but also a more meaningful one that is aligned with your values.