How Psychotherapy Can Help

At the beginning of the last century, Freud formulated what he called "the talking cure". Psychotherapy is a unique kind of talking, where the client talks and the therapist listens and helps the client to make sense of what has been happening and to trace links that go back to previous relationships. We are all the people that we have ever been - the child, the teenager, the adult. All the significant relationships we have ever had have made us who we are today.

We all have a conscious world - in other words, we are aware of all kinds of feelings and thoughts that go on in our day to day life - our approach to the outside world tends to be rational and practical - what we are going to do next, what is happening around us and what people are saying to us. Underneath this outer layer is a depth of feelings and reactions that often surprise us and cause us distress. We are suddenly angry, suddenly tearful, suddenly ravenously hungry. We say things to people around us that seem to come from out of the blue! All of this happens in the unconscious, where dreams and longings live.

In the unique conversation that evolves between psychotherapist and client, the unconscious is gradually brought to awareness and it is far more possible to understand the workings of our own minds and to choose how we behave with other people. It is also possible to have compassion for ourselves and all that we have suffered in our lives.

Psychotherapy is not a magic bullet. It is a way of understanding ourselves and making sense of all the complex layers of our relationships. It is a way to gain awareness of what truly makes us who we are. It gives us far more choice about how we respond to ourselves and to others.