What is talking therapy and how might it be able to help you? Find out what it is about and how it can provide a way forwards.
Understanding Talking Therapy
What is Talking Therapy – in a nutshell!
Talking therapy involves meeting on a one-to-one, couple or group basis with a therapist. There you explore the issues you are struggling with. There are many different approaches but the aim is to help you gain insights and update how you think, feel and behave in a way that is more comfortable or constructive for you.
Why Do People Have Talking Therapy?
People have many different reasons for engaging with talking therapy.
- Following a difficult experience or events from your past
- Working with difficult emotions such as distress or anxiety
- Support in stressful times
- Help with phobias
- Working with unhelpful behaviours
- Exploring elements of who we are
- Finding meaning and creating a narrative for our lives
- Connecting with a sense of purpose
- Finding ways forward when we are feeling stuck
A lot of the people I work with often already have a good level of self-awareness. But they can find themselves feeling stuck. Stuck in patterns of thinking or behaviours. Basing their lives on the operating manual created in childhood. Or they may be constantly projecting themselves into the future, fuelled by anticipated fears of what may happen.
Often when this happens the one place they are not is in the present – the now. This can rob us of the opportunity to feel happy and fulfilled. To leave behind things that no longer work for us and become who we really are.
Talking therapy can give us the space to create awareness and make sense of who and how we are. Creating meaning, allowing us to update and to piece together our own personal jigsaw.
When Do People Try Talking Therapy?
Usually people come to most forms of therapy when they feel they need support in dealing with difficult emotions. This can have been building over time, or they have been spurred on to find help because of a crisis.
A crisis can be a brutally effective way of revealing the parts of the operating manual that need an update. They may have served us well up till now, or not, but the crisis highlights what needs to be worked with. Sometimes these patterns can be quite mild and not really an issue. For others emotions or behaviours can literally highjack them. If this is the case, then unless we address what is within us, I believe we will always be hostage to it.
What is Talking Therapy – Learning From History
I believe it is essential to draw on and learn from our past. To honour its lessons but not to get stuck there:
“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
It can be of great value to gain an understanding of why we are feeling and behaving as we do. That awareness gives us more space in which to choose responses instead of embedded default ones.
All the ages that we have ever been are alive within us. We can work with this using Timeline Therapy as one of many approaches available. It can help to bring in unhappy or isolated elements of ourselves from the cold. To update and integrate the different parts if ourselves so that as a whole, we are aligned in the present. And able to move forwards.
Which Talking Therapy?
If you are thinking about talking therapy you may now be wondering which kind will suit you best. Many offer support and it is important to find the one that suits you best. It depends upon what you are working with, clicking with an individual therapist and benefiting from that particular approach.
Obviously I am biased as over the years I have been working with people and developing my approach. I work one-to-one in clinics and via Skype. I tailor my approach to suit each person I work with. But always within a framework of considering the person as a whole and within the context of their lives. Taking into account your past, present and future.
Depending upon what you need my approach can offer both conversational and process driven talking therapy. Drawing upon NLP, Hypnotherapy and Coaching as is helpful. Using whatever elements or combination suits you and what you are wanting support with.
Using therapies that work with both the conscious and unconscious mind can be helpful in reaching the parts that seem beyond our ability to deal with or update. You can read more about why working with the unconscious mind is so important in upcoming blogs. Unless we address relevant elements embedded in our unconscious we tend to stay stuck.
Talking Therapy – A Chance for Future Focus
For some, going back over old ground does not feel helpful. They may have already engaged in therapy or just feel they don’t want to go there. In those instances, hypnotherapy can sometimes offer support as less discussion of the past is needed.
But it can also be the case that exploring who we are and the lives we have had can help us to make sense of things. To understand why we feel and behave as we do. Many people I work with really value finding this understanding. It can bring a sense of relief to make these connections. And to then use those insights to find ways forward.
So understanding and making peace with our past offers us a springboard for future focus. Creating a narrative and find meaning. Being comfortable in our present and exploring ways forward. That is why talking therapy is helpful.
What is Talking Therapy – A Way Forwards
Talking Therapy offers you a safe and non-judgmental space to work with whatever you feel is holding you back. Mostly I find people just want to feel better. But in order to achieve that you need to cover some ground first.
There are two expressions therapists often use: “The only way out is through” and “What is in the way is the way”. These bring to mind Joe Simpson’s story, a mountaineer who fell into a crevasse. In an incredible tale of human endurance he found his way out by going deeper into the crevasse. It is one of the most compelling books I have ever read. It is also a wonderful if slightly dramatic metaphor for the process of personal therapy.
I hope you have found this blog on What Is Talking Therapy to be of interest. I work in clinics in West and East Sussex and also via Skype. If you are curious about whether my approach may help you please contact me and we can arrange an initial free of charge session.