Grief, anxiety, trauma, and conflict--these are the kinds of experiences very few of us can really avoid. Fortunately, we often know how to manage them and move on.
Sometimes though, these experiences can take a very heavy toll on our lives. When that happens, we need to take the time to deal with the pain and the confusion, to sort out the reasons and deal with the consequences. Psychotherapy is a very effective and enduring way of doing just that.
In putting your experiences into words, you begin to not only speak them but also listen to them, differently or perhaps even for the first time. This gives you the opportunity to uncover the causes of your pain, understand them better, and work them through. Psychotherapy opens up new possibilities for a more meaningful and satisfying life, in spite of a painful past or a restrictive present.
Psychotherapy works by giving you meaning to the experiences you have. You begin to make the connections between what you feel and what you know. Things start to make more sense, or to make sense in a different way.
Over time, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place; you become more aware of your strengths and assets; you no longer need to rely on older and less satisfying ways of doing things.
This is why psychotherapy doesn't pretend to erase the past; that would not only be impossible, it would also mean throwing out the baby with the bath water. Psychotherapy doesn't numb the present either; that would stop not only the pain, but also the possibility for pleasure.