Many patients ask “what is psychotherapy?” Well, that’s a really good question because psychotherapy has changed a lot over the last four decades. So when people talk about offering psychotherapy, we may have to drill down a bit to understand what they mean.
Usually we need someone- a psychotherapist- to help us understand ourselves more clearly. Hopefully, these are people who have done this type of work themselves.
Generally, the aim of modern psychotherapy is integration and healing. Integration is about making friends with the parts of us that we struggle with, don’t like, or don’t know about- until they “hijack” us or affect us in some way.
And healing- well, many books are written on this.
My definition of healing is:
Being able to love and be kind to myself, even when things are not going well today. Healing is being able to enjoy the present moment, and not live always in my head, in the future or the past, or in a fantasy world. It’s being able to accept the world on its own terms, instead of hoping the world will change to fit my demands or needs. Its being able to smile and find something to learn or someone to cherish every day.
Healing is being comfortable in my own skin, regardless of how others around me think I should be. And it’s being able to hold the right amount of responsibility in life- not too much or too little-and accept that whatever is happening I have either consciously or unconsciously created or co-created it! Which is great, because if something is not working, and I know what it is, I have a chance to change it.
So to heal stress and trauma, the first step is to find a good psychotherapist! I have written a blog about more of what to look for in a psychotherapist this week. Enjoy, and I look forward to your views and feedback!