In today’s rat race of economic difficulties, competitive global markets, sky-rocketing social media communication, etc, it is not surprising that we are all feeling more emotionally and psychologically rattled. There is alot to deal with in today’s world! But how are you dealing with it? Do you have someone to talk to when you are out of sorts? What if you have the consistent feeling of impending doom or hopelessness?
I have recently been thinking a lot about how important it is to be heard. Everyone needs a space to be able to voice their fears, hopes, dreams, desires, secrets without judgement. Sometimes people have the good fortune of having family members or friends who can provide this basic need. However, often the issues are more challenging and take a toll on one’s spirit, such as what I mentioned above. Depression, for example, can range from mild dysphoria to severe psychosis. So, an individual who is beginning to feel these more difficult emotions would need something beyond what a family member or a friend can provide. This is when professional help from a trained psychotherapist is key.
Psychotherapy provides that safe space where a person can express extreme emotions and feel validated and comfortable “obsessing” or “feeling stuck” or “struggling through life and death issues.” Besides providing non-judgemental and empathic support, Psychologists are trained to assess a client’s issues and coordinate treatment with the collaboration from the client themselves and via the lens of empirically-established, theoretically-rooted techniques. The person coming to see a psychologist is not only gaining a non-biased advocate, they are also gaining insights into new perspectives and making behavioral changes.
The only who you can change is YOU. You may know that in theory, but what steps have you taken to implement change in your life? One change, can make a shift in your perspective that is so profound that you can see things in a whole new and empowering light. While research is still establishing the data regarding brain changes due to psychotherapy, there have been some differences found with people with certain types of depression and OCD. Thus, therapy is definitely targeting, not only your mind, emotions, and behavior, but at a molecular level. Psychologists work with you to raise your own levels of serotonin, for example, through natural means of adaptive thinking and helping you replace old and mal-adaptive thoughts, reactions, and responses.
Per the research, psychotherapy used in conjunction with medications (if necessary) has made a more significant impact, than medications alone, especially for depression and anxiety. Why simply put a Bandaid on your pain? Learn to empower yourself with the tools to change yourself from the inside out!
When you have physical ailments, you seek medical attention, similarly psychotherapy is a non-pharmacological approach to emotional/behavioral ailments. Nowadays, an integrative approach is the way to go. Talk to your doctor and have them refer you to a psychologist, it may just be the difference you were looking for.