How Can Therapy Help Me?
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or another mental illness, psychotherapy (talk therapy) can provide you the relief and comfort that you need. Psychotherapy is typically focused on current thoughts, feelings and life issues, though sometimes analyzing the past is necessary to help you cope with present and future.
Talk therapy can help you with the following:
- Understand your illness
- Define and reach wellness goals
- Overcome fears and insecurities
- Cope with stress
- Make sense of past traumatic experiences
- Separate your true personality from mood swings caused by the illness
- Identify triggers that can worsen your symptoms
- Improve relationships with family and friends
- Establish a stable routine
- Develop a plan to cope with crises
- Understand why things bother you
- End destructive habits
How do I get started?
To begin, make a list of things that are bothering you the most and what you need help with. In the first few sessions you’ll typically do most of the talking, as the therapist is getting to know you, why you are there and what you want from therapy. Making a list of your goals with your therapist is a good way to make sure you get the most out of it.
These issues might include:
- Issues in your family or other relationships
- Symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or others
How do I know if I’m making progress?
After time has passed, check your list to see if you are any closer to reach your goals. Tracking how you feel every day and how you cope with difficult situations can be very helpful. Once you’ve done this, review your progress with your therapist. Though progress doesn’t occur overnight, you’ll start to see change over time. Research your mental illness so you gain a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings. If you don’t feel like therapy alone is helping, you might seek a second treatment option like medication or another health professional.