Mark Hillman, Ph.D., (Psy) LMHC
Sometimes people seek psychotherapy at the advice of a physician, a friend or a health agency. Sometimes it's overwhelming life stressors or a particular crisis that causes a person to decide to go to therapy. For many, the motivation is relief from feelings of depression, anxiety, grief, guilt, or help with panic attacks, phobia, personality disorders, or a career change. For others, it is the circumstances or relationships in their lives that have become difficult to deal with. Many times people enter therapy to gain insight and acceptance about themselves and to achieve personal growth. Psychotherapy is for anyone who is unhappy with the way he or she acts or feels, and wants to change.
Talking with a therapist helps you understand ways to improve your life. Inevitably, there are times when we lose our way, make mistakes or flounder in doubts about our own abilities. A skilled therapist understands and can help to find solutions to problems and relief from pain in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.
Psychotherapy is a treatment process that uses specialized techniques of caring that have been designed to offer effective, long-lasting help for people suffering from a wide range of difficulties. It is a place where you can explore your thoughts and feelings about yourself and others. It can help you understand how your current difficulties and past experiences can be linked. It can help alleviate emotional pain and can teach you new skills with which you can successfully deal with your problems. Therapy focuses on reconciling issues that are in some manner limiting your enjoyment of life. You may need help understanding and resolving issues in order to move forward in life, more at ease with yourself and with the world around you.
To try or start psychotherapy is difficult for almost anyone. Many people feel that going to therapy somehow suggests that they are going crazy or, worse yet, might make others think they are going crazy. People who seek therapy are not in any way crazy at all. In fact, it is entirely natural for people to go through times of emotional distress, and just as natural for people to seek help, advice or guidance during such times. When we feel uncomfortable or in distress, seeking help is the most sane and rational thing we can do.
Going to see a therapist is a sign of personal strength and wisdom, a recognition of the importance you give to yourself and your well-being. Therapy is an investment in yourself. It offers the opportunity to change old patterns or gain control over the problems that pursue you. It is an excellent way to learn about the obstacles that block you from feeling fulfilled.