Psychotherapy: What are the benefits of therapeutic support?


In this article, you will understand what therapy with a shrink consists of, what methods can be used, and what benefits it brings before starting it.

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While everyone experiences more difficult periods in life than others, some nevertheless require additional efforts to overcome them and rebuild themselves. Intense emotional shocks, childhood traumas, personality disorders… the reasons for starting psychotherapy are numerous and depend on each person's life course.

Sometimes fully aware of the origin of the difficulties encountered, sometimes not, people who wish to put an end to their suffering and be able to move forward in their life can then count on the support of a therapist, who will set up a therapeutic approach with tools and tips to help them.

However, some people still do not dare to take this step. The fear of talking about your story to a stranger, the certainty of being able to face the problems alone, the persistent belief that the "little everyday problems" will not interest shrink, or more simply the price of consultations deemed excessive, are all arguments put forward. This is how many people continue to suffer, walled in their silence.

Obviously, it is never easy to confront what is most painful in your life and to talk about it openly. Psychologists intervene in this direction, in order to accompany their patients in a speaking up that will allow them to free themselves.

If today the effectiveness of psychotherapy is proven by numerous studies carried out, it is nevertheless essential to understand what therapy with a shrink consists of, what methods can be used, and what benefits it brings before starting it.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is defined as “a psychological treatment for a mental disorder, for behavioral disturbances or for any other problem resulting in psychological suffering or distress”.

For the patient, the main objective of psychotherapy is to promote “significant changes in their cognitive, emotional or behavioral functioning, in their interpersonal system, in their personality or in their state of health. This treatment goes beyond help to face the current difficulties or a report of advice or support”.

While psychotherapy treats disorders through talking, it differs from psychiatry, which treats a person's structural disorders with the help of medication.

If psychotherapy is often perceived as help provided to people with complex pathologies, it can also accompany people suffering from "lighter" disorders which, however, do not allow them to feel good about themselves and satisfied with their life.

Thus, psychotherapy can also treat problems related to the management of emotions, recurrent stress, or a phobia, such as trauma-related disorders (PTSD), emotional dependence behaviors, or disorders related to toxic relationships with mental manipulation and physical violence.

What is a session with a shrink based on?

Psychotherapy consists of sessions, more or less numerous, between a patient and a psychologist or a psychotherapist, during which a bond is created. The number of sessions depends on the severity of the problem and the pace at which the patient is progressing.

When a person decides to start psychotherapy, he makes the choice to carry out a work of self-transformation, during which therapeutic methods can be used to help him, such as hypnosis or EMDR.

Depending on the problem for which the person comes to consult and his needs, psychotherapy makes it possible to determine the cause or causes of his malaise, to deconstruct his limiting beliefs as well as his modes of functioning, in order to find a psychic balance, good health mental.

It thus makes it possible to help the person to discover the reasons for their psychological distress, but also to explore avenues that they would not have considered alone.

At the beginning of the first session, the therapist must set the framework of the therapy by explaining to the patient the course of the sessions. This creates a safe and trusting environment. The goals of the therapy are also explained and understood, by both the therapist and the patient.

The quality of this link is fundamental. A therapeutic alliance between the patient and the psychologist that evolves positively, allows the latter to have access to valuable information, which will significantly advance the therapy. The link between the psychologist and the patient thus contributes to the effectiveness of the therapy.

Beyond the empathy that the psychologist must show towards his patient, respect, benevolence, and honesty are essential qualities for the creation and maintenance of the therapeutic alliance.

The most common approaches in psychotherapy

Although there are many approaches to psychotherapy, the main ones are:

1-The cognitive-behavioral approach:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular, makes it possible to treat anxiety disorders, depression, emotional dependence, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCDs), or even eating disorders.

It promotes the transformation of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions by seeking to understand how behaviors work and to identify the patient's limiting beliefs in order to deconstruct them.

For the patient, benefiting from CBT thus makes it possible to adopt more appropriate behaviors, learn to better manage their emotions, and/or replace their negative and limiting beliefs with new, more appropriate beliefs.

The psychotherapist works on a revaluation of the patient by helping him to become aware of his qualities and his potential.

2-The systemic approach:

In this approach, the patient is treated with regard to the ecosystem in which he lives. Systemic therapies can be individual, that is to say, carried out between the patient and the therapist, and the family.

In this second case, each member of the family is taken care of with the aim of treating the relational dysfunctions which disturb the psychic balance of the witness patient.

3-Interpersonal Therapy (IPT):

This brief therapy is mainly known to treat depressive disorders and bipolar disorders because it is based on attachment theories.

It helps to improve interpersonal behaviors that are dysfunctional in order to treat the patient's depressive episode.

Interpersonal therapy is based on the observation that interpersonal relationships that do not allow the patient to find support are linked to his depression.

4-Psychodynamic or analytical therapy:

She starts from the observation that part of the problems experienced by the patient is created by inner conflicts, from unconscious patterns that prevent him from flourishing on a daily basis.

The objective of psychodynamic therapy is to identify and understand what are the unconscious factors that cause the suffering felt by the person in order to treat them.

To do this, the therapist can use many tools such as the analysis of dreams, the analysis of transfers by the projection of desire, keeping a diary, etc.

5-Humanistic or existential therapy:

This type of therapy is based on the fact that the patient has all the capacities to understand his present discomfort and to find the solutions himself allowing him to get better.

Within the framework of a therapy based on this approach, the therapist accompanies the patient to an awareness of his capacities.

Humanistic or existential therapy thus makes it possible to get to know oneself better by exploring one's personal difficulties.

Psychotherapy: what are the benefits?

The benefits of psychotherapy are numerous and have been proven by several studies carried out in recent years.

First of all, psychotherapy puts an end to your suffering and that is its main mission. Thanks to the use of therapeutic methods (hypnosis, emdr, NLP, sophrology, TPRN, etc.), it can cure many physical or psychological ailments.

Then, psychotherapy allows you to get to know yourself better. By seeking to understand where suffering, negative feelings, and inappropriate behaviors come from, psychotherapy makes it possible to highlight the modes of functioning of each one. Understanding why you adopt one behavior rather than another or knowing why you react in such a way allows you to fully accept your individuality and thus, flourish in your environment.

Psychotherapy can also help you to realize yourself by working on the fundamentals of self-confidence: self-esteem and self-love. It supports people who are facing particularly difficult changes in their lives and helps them to better cope with these transition periods.

The effects of psychotherapy

The effects of the therapy can be perceived in the short, medium, and long term. As this is an in-depth treatment, the risks of “relapse” are low because it aims to transform the patient. Thus, in the short term, psychotherapy allows a patient:

  • To be actively listened to about one's problems.
  • To feel supported, while it is easy to feel alone in the face of difficulties.
  • To have a problem clearly posed by a professional, which will facilitate its resolution.

In the long term, psychotherapy allows in particular:

  • To gain better self-confidence.
  • To take full responsibility and thus be able to readjust the behaviors that are lacking in your life.
  • To develop a more attentive listening to others, but also to oneself.
  • To learn how to better mobilize your personal resources to deal with destabilizing and stressful situations.
  • The disappearance of your personality disorders.
With regard to the benefits brought to patients, psychotherapy is a bit like a gift that we give to ourselves and for ourselves, allowing the achievement of the desired well-being.

When should you consider consulting a psychologist?

Each person reacts differently to difficulties. However, if you find that you have unpleasant feelings that affect your well-being, it is important to know how to listen to yourself.

While it is normal to experience passing phases of sadness, anger, or fear, these emotions should challenge you when they last too long and cause excessive reactions in you: crying, significant sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety attack, eating disorders, concentration problems, communication difficulties, permanent anxiety, etc.

In addition, it is particularly recommended to be accompanied by a psychologist in the context of an accident or a traumatic experience such as a breakup, the death of a loved one, or a professional dismissal, if you have difficulty in getting over it. These events mark and can have unsuspected repercussions in other areas of your life.

Bottom line

Whatever happens, consulting a psychologist should be done when you feel ready to discuss what you are experiencing or have experienced.

It is also important to take the time to do in-depth research to find the therapist who is right for you, that is, the one with whom you feel ready to establish a relationship of trust and to work, but also to opt for the therapy that will bring you the desired results.

Do not hesitate to ask questions to your shrink, either about his methods or questions you may have about your life or your person. It is essential to feel free to express what you want to free yourself.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.