Counselling and psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is when a therapist listens to how someone feels, helps them work through their experiences, and gives them an optimistic approach towards life and mental well-being.
To treat, evaluate, and support various mental health conditions, counsellors and psychologists use talk therapy to discuss the present and the past to determine patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that are contributing to distress. The counsellor or psychologist’s job is to help people verbally and internally resolve and process issues and concerns. Additionally, they may assist individuals in finding a way forward amid struggles that have interfered with their daily activities.
Read on to learn more about talk therapy, including how it works, the conditions it may benefit, and how to choose the best type of therapy for you.
What is Talk Therapy?
According to affective neuroscience (Schore, 2021), the human brain needs another human brain to feel settled inside. The principle holds for anxiety. When we are around another calm person, they can help our system to calm. Especially when the person provides a listening ear where he accepts our story and understands our needs.
Psychotherapy, counselling, and talk therapy allow people to communicate with a person who does not hold biases or judgments about their concerns, goals, or challenges. Through talk therapy, a person should be able to target and ultimately change patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that may hinder a desirable state of mind. To set the tone, confidentiality is maintained throughout these sessions to contribute to feeling seen and heard for your uniqueness.
A person participating in talk therapy will meet the psychologist, psychotherapist, or counsellor for regular therapy sessions. These professionals are qualified to facilitate therapy that supports scientifically validated procedures to improve client’s mental health and well-being.
How Does Talk Therapy Work?
On the first visit, the therapist will ask several questions to determine a person’s readiness for talk therapy. A therapist needs this information to determine the best course of action for the patient based on their history, background, and desired goals. To name a few examples, a counsellor or psychologist may take notes as a patient shares information about their family, relationships, childhood, symptoms, or history of illness.
Furthermore, individuals may attend as many talk therapy sessions as necessary to better understand their condition, habits, thoughts, or challenges. You might need regular sessions until your therapist can develop a treatment plan, or you’ve made your desired changes, or you may choose to come according to your schedule and needs.
What Types of Conditions Can Talk Therapy Help With?
Whether you are struggling with a mental health issue or are just looking for clarity and direction in your life, therapy sessions can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is struggling. Through talk therapy, it is easy to identify and treat conditions ranging from anxiety, depression, irrational fears, relationship issues, parenting, grief, and more related problems that people suffer from, and not only that but these disorders can also be prevented.
Are those Different Conditions Treated at the Same Level in Talk Therapy?
A micro-level and stage-by-stage approach helps in addressing these complex issues. The process begins with your relationship with your therapist, followed by appropriate therapies for your situation, which involves correcting unhealthy or self-destructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviour patterns and replacing them with healthier ones or learning about your situation in a way that helps to make adjustments to lead towards feeling better.
Talk therapy can involve different ways to work with struggles, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which involves identifying faulty and harmful thinking patterns that distort how you view and respond to situations and relationships, EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) which involves the identification of emotions and body sensations to support healthy relationships with yourself and others, and Narrative Therapy which explores the stories that you use to describe you and your life, and shifting these stories to be more supportive of yourself.
Is Talk Therapy Effective?
There are no universal answers to the effectiveness of talk therapy. About 75% of people who are involved in psychotherapy report seeing some benefit from it.
Whatever type of talk therapy is used, it is important to remember that the relationship between the therapist and the client matters most. Most patients opting for talk therapy have a high need for human interaction and need someone to understand them. It is not the talk that makes the difference; it is the quality of the talk, the interactions, and the therapist’s combined curiosity and knowledge to assist you through your therapeutic process.
Are the Results from Talk Therapy Sessions Permanent?
There is no doubt that talk therapy is highly effective in treating mental health issues and dealing with life challenges. Individuals who undergo psychological therapy can benefit from learning about themselves and applying alternatives to habits and patterns that develop life-long skills that can provide long-term results.
A talk therapy treatment plan aims to address current behaviours and concerns and develop behavioural skills that might be useful in future situations. Furthermore, talk therapy offers relief from distressing physical problems as well.
An individual may experience physical symptoms as a result of severe psychological distress, such as pain or unpleasant sensations. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, grief, and other mental challenges can result in physical symptoms such as stomach upset, chronic pain, headaches, sleep deprivation, stomach upset, chronic pain, headaches and more, as well as other issues such as struggles at work or in relationships.
Developing a plan with your talk therapist can help you reduce symptoms and improve your overall well-being. In this way, the results are extremely fruitful, life-changing, and lasting.
Why one Should Consider Talk Therapy?
Even after stating the above, it is still important to emphasize when someone is experiencing distress, no matter what phase of life they are in or how old they are, getting the care they deserve is important.
Finding a therapist who understands and treats you as an individual with value, validates your pain, and carefully examines your situation to create a plan that works towards your goals is important. All that, combined with their experience, can help a patient move through their challenges towards feeling more on top of life than life on top of them. Furthermore, the therapeutic relationship supports patients in moving forward and beginning afresh with their lives by working with talk therapy professionals.
It is inevitable for all of us to experience periods of emotional distress. For some people, the issues are temporary and do not require treatment.
However, talk therapy can make a significant difference in the way some people feel and their outlook on life.
It might be time to consider talk therapy if you are grieving a loved one, coping with a medical condition, feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed or dealing with family or relationship issues.
If you are looking for a therapist, book a call with one of our therapists or our lovely client coordinator and find the therapist that is right for you to support you on your journey of healing and growth.
Schore A. N. (2021). The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Intersubjectivity. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 648616. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.648616