The benefits of psychotherapy
I believe we should all try psychotherapy at some point in our lives. Most of us have grown up ignoring our feelings and repressing emotions. We apologize when we cry and we struggle with the concept of healthy anger. It’s what our culture teaches us to do. When we repress our emotions, however, our intimacy with loved ones suffers. If we don’t learn how to make sense of our feelings, we become depressed. Back pain, ulcers, migraines, difficulty sleeping and a host of other somatic symptoms can show up when we ignore our anger and grief. It’s useless to try to “shake it off,” because it’s really impossible. Our feelings don’t disappear. And eventually we’ll have to pay the bill.
Psychotherapy helps us to make sense of painful experiences. We learn how to build emotional resilience, practice self-compassion and use mindfulness. When we work through unprocessed experiences, we develop the tools to work through future emotions. When we learn how to process and become aware of our emotions we become less reactive and we become able to cultivate meaningful relationships with real and lasting intimacy. Numbness, resentment, passive aggressive behaviors, co-dependence, self-harm, eating disorders and angry outbursts are the result of unprocessed emotional experiences. Processing those emotions through psychotherapy leads to intimacy, confidence, joy, empowerment and effective communication. Psychotherapy is for intelligent, brave individuals who want to better understand themselves and others, to resolve conflicts with greater ease and to experience greater joy. I encourage everyone to try it. - Dr. Brenda Gesell