Fast acting relief in therapy?
Clients often report that they feel better even after their first session in all styles of psychotherapy …
One: The relief of having taken action to help yourself.
Social psychology researchers have described hope as being made up of “agency” and “pathways”. Taking concrete action by beginning therapy establishes a feeling there is something to be done about your problem and that you are a person able to do it. This creates hope.
Two: The comfort of feeling that a professional is involved who can understand your situation and offer resources to help.
The psychological experiences of anxiety and depression often interfer with a person's cognitive ability or motivation to look at their situation and search for solutions. Depression slows down the body physically. It may be difficult to get out of bed or out of the house to do even the things that you know are good for you. Anxiety may lead to rumination, repetitive or circular thinking. Anxious insistence on safety at any price rules out many possible solutions to the anxiety producing situation. The anxiety or hopelessness can be catching. Friends and family can be infected by the same ineffective patterns of thought and lose their ability to contribute helpfully. Conversational contact with a person who has professional experience and knows what steps to take is often very calming and reassuring.
Three: The experience of speaking about your disturbing or shameful experience and discovering that it can be compassionately accepted by another person is healing.
Feelings of difference and isolation that come with the keeping of important secrets are a major intensifier of psychological distress.
- Hearing from an expert that others also feel as you do also reduces painful shame and isolation.
Shame, anger and other unacceptable emotions may simply be stamped down and looked away from. rather than being dealt with effect or constructively. When we try to keep distracting experiences out of our minds, we also prevent ourselves from working to change or repair our situation.
- Describing and naming your experience often makes it less frightening and unmanageable.
Psychological distress is a common human experience.
Almost no one will be able to get through a normal human life without having periods of anxiety, depression, or self-doubt. It is part of human emotional life to sometimes feel emotionally weak or out of control. These experiences exist on a continuum from mild to intense and from fleeting to life-long.
Statistically, most of these episodes resolve them within a reasonable period of time but if you feel that you are trapped in a state of emotional distress and are not able to work your way out by yourself, it may be helpful to look for help from a trained psychologist, counselor or other mental health practitioner
Many other people have walked these difficult paths before you … and the trail out is not unknown.