Recently the concept of therapy has become popularised largely due to the abundance of psychology-themed posts available throughout social media. These posts are usually ‘feel-good’ and inspire many people to embark on an emotional healing journey. One of the places for such a journey is with a Mental Health Professional using psychotherapy, also known as the therapeutic process or therapy. But, what exactly is this process?
Therapy is a process that unfolds over multiple sessions conducted over a period during which your psychologist helps you identify and change unhealthy emotional processing styles/patterns that can keep you from feeling peace or maintain a false sense of peace. Psychologists can use different styles of therapy and will use the principles of their chosen style to help you. You can ask about the type of therapy practised during your initial contact with a psychologist.
A typical therapy session is 45 to 60 minutes and the cost varies. An individual’s period in therapy varies from person to person and may depend on the intensity of the emotional disturbance experienced in their day-to-day function and their commitment to the process. Weekly sessions are usually ideal because the therapy process can trigger discomfort at times, and it gives persons a shorter space of time to sit with and manage on their own.
The therapy process can challenge the safety of your current comfort zone and ask you to create a healthier one that requires you to make the uncomfortable, comfortable. This can trigger discomfort and every individual will not experience the same level of discomfort. So even if your closest confidant went through the process and it was amazing/tough for them, their experience does not reflect what your process may look like. This is because people’s ability to tolerate discomfort, feel vulnerable and trust the process varies.
So, do I recommend that people pursue this process? Absolutely! It can be difficult at times, but there is someone (a Psychologist) who is ready to work with you using objective, evidence-based and scientific approaches to help you face the parts of yourself that have been hurt, avoided or shamed. It is an opportunity to learn how your emotional body works and embrace all parts. It is a process that fosters growth, healing, coping, self-objectivity, self-compassion, self-confidence and ultimately authentic self-love. These are the scientifically-proven traits of persons who feel at peace more times than not.