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Soubresaut's avatar

What does therapy help with?

Asked by Soubresaut (13709points) March 22nd, 2013
14 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

With a professional, or just talking with someone you trust, or just talking at someone on the subway… what does that do for you? I hear all the time about how cathartic it is to talk things through… but that’s never been my experience.
I’m trying to understand. So I’m wondering, what do you feel like after talking about something? You don’t have to say what you were talking about, but how does it leave you? For me it’s always something like drained and small and cemented and foolish.
And specifically to therapy—why does it help? To describe pieces of your life to someone who will never actually see any of it, and have them tell you how you must feel. What does it achieve? What does it fix?

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janbb's avatar

For me, therapy has helped fix negative and unhelpful patterns of thought and behavior and enabled me to like and take care of myself through some very challenging times.

marinelife's avatar

It does not ever result in the therapist “tell[ing] you how you must feel.”

The therapist listens and points out things that you may not see. I too have found it very helpful in understanding and rissing myself of unwanted patterns.

Talking to a trusted friend is not the same thing as therapy.

Unbroken's avatar

There is a certain relief talking to therapist. Knowing they are paid so you aren’t wasting time whining and that it won’t travel back to friends. Not having to uphold a certain image of yourself for them.

Also they are paid to listen. They have developed good listening skills. They can recommend reading, tell you about different therapies that might help you.

They also are good at validating you and your problems or points of view. One even directed me to a resource that might solve one of my significant ongoing problem. I am currently pursuing it.

I do feel drained after. Sometimes I develop headaches or something akin to migraines. But it let’s me know work is being done. And for me because I push myself it happens very quickly.

YARNLADY's avatar

A therapist is a professional who has training in how to help you find the answers you are looking for. They do not tell you how you feel, rather, you tell them, and in talking it over, you often discover new ways of dealing with your issues. The professional has a lot of experience with various issues and can sometimes suggest ideas for you to work on.

Talking things over with your friends can only help when your issues are not very serious, or you are already equipped to deal with them. Sometimes writing your thoughts and feelings in a personal, private journal can also lead to new insights.

hearkat's avatar

Getting something off your chest is the colloquial explanation of catharsis, as I see it. Sometimes just saying something aloud provides a release of the stress that has been spent in repressing it. As you said, it doesn’t have to be a licensed professional; it can be a trusted friend, a perfect stranger, or even a journal entry. I also find cathartic release in singing songs that vent the emotions of pain, anger, frustration, or whatever feelings have got me stuck.

Talk therapy is basically guided exploration of the issues; a safe environment in which to be completely open with yourself; and a professional offering different perspectives and suggestions to help you weed through the tangled mess of personal problems and nurture the beauty within. For many who have chemical imbalance, medications can help stabilize their moods in order to get a solid footing. Some are able to wean off the medications once they have made significant progress in their evolution. Some people need maintenance medication for as long as they live in order to keep their neurochemicals in balance.

marinelife's avatar

Ridding not rissing.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

My dogs are my therapy. My one dog is a lab. She is sensitive to emotions and since I have bipolar she keeps me in order. She is not a registered therapy dog, but I am sure had I of gotten her some training she would pass no problem. But since she doesn’t have training she also likes to hone in on other dogs and peoples problems and usually she tries to calm them down.

If you are angry she is submissive and her ears go back her head goes down sometimes she will just sit and shake until you are not angry and she will give little licks if you aren’t stopping.

If you are fearful I don’t know but she usually knows what to do.

I have never had such a smart dog. She is the real dog whisperer lol! And she is so cuddly I love that. She is a “LAPrador”. Walking both of my dogs everyday is a blessing to me and them and is not just my therapy but I suppose it is theirs too. :)

Earthgirl's avatar

For me there are 2 main benefits of talking things through.

First, by putting things into words in order to communicate how you feel to another person, you clarify things for yourself. Sometimes this means that you yourself create insight into your problems and your emotions.

Secondly, by having someone listen and empathize you don’t feel so alone anymore. They may not be able to solve your problems but that doesn’t matter. It would be nice if they could solve your problems like magic, but even if they can’t, the human connection of being heard makes you feel better. I have never had therapy so I can only speak from the perspective of someone who does like to talk things through. Whether it changes anything or not, and even if it makes me feel drained, as you say, it is a good sort of drained. Sort of like the feeling you get from a day at the beach, swimming against the tide and soaking in the sun!

cookieman's avatar

I’ve seen a therapist three times in my life. Once in college, again when first married, and lastly when my father died.

All three times, I went to address a specific issue. Each time, the therapist helped me see things from a different perspective. This allowed me to try and handle the situation differently.

I never went for more than a few months. Once I felt I had a better handle on the issue, I would stop going.

To keep going beyond that feels self-indulgent to me. Therapy, for me, has been like once-a-decade maintenance.

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antimatter's avatar

i’ve seen a therapist a year ago after I tried to end my life for personal reasons. My therapist helped me to get my life back on track and made me even a better person. Now I am helping others who had similar problems as me.

Ollie319's avatar

I had a bad experience masturbating to some porn and thought I had done something wrong or immoral because the adult star reminded me of one of my parents , my therapist helped me understand my issues , I felt suicidal at one point and pointed out that I didn’t do anything wrong or immoral because my intent wasn’t bad it’s just something that happened and it was unfortunate that it happened , therapy or a phsycologist are trained to help if you have mental needs or are going through a hard time , my phsycologist helped me when I was suicidal and so did my sisters and I’m thankful for that , if you don’t need a therapist and feel good day to day then your fine , a therapist is for when people are in distress

Inspired_2write's avatar

A therapist can help one to understand what went wrong , so that one can get on in life, and let go of the past.

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