HOW DOES TALK THERAPY WORK?
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
CARL JUNG (1875-1961)
There is a writers’ saying: “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?” This is called shaping at the point of utterance. The principle applies powerfully to psychotherapy. Sometimes you don’t know what you really feel until you begin expressing, exploring, and unpacking your thinking. Discussing your thoughts, feelings, emotions, conflicts and problems with a therapist can be of great help. If the therapist is smart, caring, professionally trained, sensitive, and objective, then the talking can be illuminating, and of tremendous assistance. It can allow you to see and think about things in new and constructive ways.
A good listener helps us overhear ourselves.
YAHIA LABABIDI (b. 1973)
Airing your thinking aloud with a professional, focused, compassionate second ear, can help you to unpack your emotions; rethink chronic problems and worries; and live more consciously. Therapy can offer you clarity, and allow you to see your problems and issues in a new light. The next time you find yourself depressed; anxious; creatively blocked; in conflict with your mate, family or children; engaging in an unhealthy behavior like reaching for a drink, fattening food, or a drug, you may be better able to comprehend why you are driven to do so, and make conscious some of the connections that were previously unconscious. What happened to trigger the feeling or behavior? Why did it happen then? And most important: must it always proceed like that or can you do something to prevent such harmful or unproductive behaviors from recurring?
Self-awareness and understanding are the necessary first steps to turning ineffective and injurious behaviors around. Real change can only follow self-knowledge and self-understanding. And it is such genuine change that finally allows you to free yourself from chronic problems and live your life more consciously and with greater pleasure and freedom.