Every person regardless of age, gender, marital or social status may need a Psychotherapist at some point of their life.
There are two main reasons of why a person goes to a Psychotherapist:
– acute conditions; and
– chronic conditions.
Acute conditions are related to a difficult life experience. Usually it is an extraordinary life event, which the person did not expect or was not prepared for. As a result, the person does not know how to react and is not able to adjust to the new reality. These are often negative life events such as death, divorce, physical assault, unwanted pregnancy. Sometimes acute conditions can also be triggered by positive changes like child birth, new job, immigration. In such cases a psychotherapist can help overcome difficulties faster and more affectively than the person could do by himself.
Chronic conditions are another reason why people resort to psychotherapist. These are the consequences of some acute conditions that occured some time in the past and were partially but not fully overcome by the person. Something stays anyway, bothers from time to time, blocking the ability to be effective at work and to enjoy life. Time is the greatest doctor, and a broken arm may heal without any medical assistance but will it look good and function well?
In chronic conditions, an offence by a school teacher can lead to problems with the current manager at work. Divorce can become a barrier to a new relationship. Most often the person does not even understand why he or she is so “unlucky” and why everything goes wrong. In such cases a psychotherapist can help “leave the past in the past” where it belongs. This work takes longer than the work with acute conditions because all the pain is hidden under many layers of adaptive adjustments.
After all I said above, you may be left with an impression that everybody needs counselling all the time, but it is not true. Everybody has ups and downs and oftentimes the person has enough resources to resolve the problem on their own.
Psychotherapist is required when current situation does not allow the person to live a normal life, impedes work and enjoyment of life.
When you DO NOT need a psychotherapist.
1. There is no point to spend your time and resources if you want to change someone else – your child, partner, manager, parent. We can change only ourselves.
2. If you want to resolve all your problems in one or two visits. This is not very realistic. We have been creating problems for years and to change something we also need time. Just think about this: it is impossible finish a spring cleaning in one or two hours.
3. If you expect to get a “magic pill” or a “super advice” that will change your entire life and create piece and harmony forever.