Talk therapy can be described as the ‘traditional’ therapeutic process that most people think of when the subject of mental health is at hand. The industry jargon for this type of treatment is referred to as psychotherapy. A strong relationship is built between therapist and patient allowing for a free exchange of information in a confidential and safe environment.
There are a couple of challenges with talk therapy. It can be time consuming, and depending on the traumas experienced by the patient, possibly emotionally painful – but the benefits of continuing to do the hard work far outweigh those difficulties.
Here are three of the ways that talk therapy helps you heal:
Not everyone is aware of what is causing their pain, and so they’re unable to articulate what exactly is wrong. Not knowing this information makes other rational-based treatment methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) far less effective. We must first know why we’re hurting before we can address the problem.
Talk therapy provides a safe and nurturing space for whatever thoughts come into our minds. There may be underlying repressed memories and emotions bubbling up from our subconscious space that we were not even aware of.
It is through the discovery and exposure of these hidden feelings and memories that we can then begin to heal, integrating other therapies such as CBT to begin rationalizing and removing distortions in our thinking.
Over time, patients may begin to communicate with their therapists in ways that reflect their past traumas and parental relationships providing clues as to what the patient’s underlying conditions may be.
The therapist-patient relationship can mimic that of a parent-child, and so feelings of sadness, nervousness, rage, or insecurity that were experienced by the patient towards their parents can transfer to the therapist. It has also been observed that those parental feelings can be transferred towards spouses or children, so it’s extremely important that negative feelings are resolved in the safest way possible before they adversely affect the ones you love.
For many people, their relationship with their therapist may be the first positive and reliable relationship that they have ever had. Parents, friends, and confidants may have let them down, and so the therapist becomes a surrogate for that parental deficiency in many ways.
Once a trusting relationship has been established between patient and therapist, it is possible to regress to earlier stages of development that went wrong and relive them – except this time with a better ending.
This new relationship then becomes a model for building new healthy relationships outside of therapy.
Have you ever tried talk therapy? How were your experiences? Click the title of this article and leave a comment to tell us about it!