Talk therapy is the most basic form of treatment, good for all ages. We delve into your history and experiences. We find patterns and trends and identify how this rounds out the picture of you. Explaining your inner self forces you to be more aware of what your perspective is and to organize your thoughts more clearly.
The simple act of allowing yourself to share your inner self and face your issues head on can be the bravest and most beneficial thing one can do for themselves. With Talk Therapy, you are empowered to lead the charge and discuss what matters to you most. Unlike anywhere else, or with anyone else, it is encouraged to center on yourself, to be the most important person, and vent about things freely.
You can confide in your friends and family and get advice. Therapy is treatment. No bias or agenda. One cannot get the kind of continual support from people in your life as sooner or later, people get overwhelmed, give quick but not lasting suggestions, and they always have an agenda (to see you wind up doing as they say or hope or just to see you be happy). Talk Therapy with a counselor is a place where we hold you to the values you identify. The therapist only has the task of helping reach your goals and be healthier.
I list this as a modality mostly because people have gotten the idea through movies and books that the counselor is the crazy character, the one who has some sort of gimmick they are selling. We will model active listening skills to exchange thoughts and for you to increasingly be comfortable in revealing the story of your life. Active listening is as important as the talk. We learn to consider about what others are saying but also how to collect your thoughts and feelings in such a way as to be able to organize and present your worries, fears, hopes, and dreams in ways you may have dared or thought you may be possible.
In my mind, a recognition that we are working our goals based exclusively on your stated values and morals. One of the most critical components to counseling is the you see the counselor as an extension of yourself. In this way, you are the one working, practicing, improving. The therapist is NOT trying to make you just like them. They are not to ones doing the hard work. You and you alone must hold yourself to your standards. We are a compass, a guide, a support, and a witness. When we set an environment in which you can verbalize who you are at the core, we can begin mapping the roads to lead yourself to those destinations.
It is sometimes the most amazing experience for individuals to be compelled to make time to actively think about and experience your “stuff”. You can divert your friends, you can snow your inner circle, you may even smooth talk your therapist, but you can only fool yourself for so long. You know when something is hairy and scary but actively trying not to deal with. Maybe you don’t yet know how to articulate or put it into words, but it’s definitely there hurting. The pathway to change is not to avoid or push down, but rather to stand tall and work through your deepest issues. I will call you on your blind spots and hold you to your self-identified values and goals. In the end, you are only fighting yourself. Talk Therapy is also allowing yourself to feel and to become more able to allow yourself to experience, cope with, and take action on all that which is uncomfortable.