Do you believe Psychotherapy can help you to change your life for the better?
If the answer is no, today’s blog post is for you as I show you exactly how Psychotherapy can help you to do just that.
First, though, I believe it’s important to start with what exactly you’re trying to do in Psychotherapy.
Mainly because I’ve found it’s easy to face confusion about this before, during and after your Psychotherapy sessions.
Therefore, deterring you from realising the benefits of Psychotherapy, giving you an excuse (a.k.a.reason) to quit.
So, to sum this up for you, below is a great quote I read in Robert Kiyosaki’s free e-book ‘Change your life before Breakfast’:
I love this quote so much because it summarises perfectly what you’re trying to do in Psychotherapy:
Change how you think and how you feel about yourself, others and the situations in your life.
As a result, helping you to make different decisions from the ones you have been making up until this point in your life.
So you can create new results in your life and make life better, therefore, ultimately help you to change your life for the better.
The reason for this is, ultimately, it is not your responsibility to try to change others (i.e. how they think and/or react to situations).
Nor is it possible to change others.
All trying does is exhaust your own energy supply and removes your focus from the very thing you want most.
Changing your life for the better.
Therefore, it’s important to focus on what you can control; You.
Changing how YOU think and how YOU feel about yourself, others and the situations (past and present) in your life.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
1) Showing you how to improve your relationships
Unfortunately, no-one was given a manual on relationships when they were born.
You simply observed and took on the thinking and actions of others (mainly your family) when it came to relationships.
Therefore, believing it was the correct way of thinking about and approaching relationships.
So, you didn’t have the chance to question, which thoughts and actions were acceptable and unacceptable.
You didn’t have the chance to see the range of ways you could think and act in relationships.
Therefore, allowing you to consciously choose how YOU wanted to show up in your own relationships.
You were given only one way.
Then you took those thoughts and actions and you started using them in your own relationships.
To find either they worked or they didn’t work in building relationships.
And, when you found they didn’t work, they reinforced the beliefs your family passed onto you, that you weren’t good enough.
There was something wrong with you.
So they became your beliefs, which are now your responsibility for changing.
The reason for this, as I talk about in my blog post How to find your worth and why it matters, is there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you.
What’s wrong are the false beliefs you have been passed on, which you have the full power and control to transform with the support of a therapist.
Since it is these, which are causing you to feel unhappy.
At the same time, the relationship you build with your Psychotherapist will teach you…
- How relationships are meant to look; and
- The steps you can take to improve your relationships
This is crucial because life is all about relationships.
Esther Perel (Psychotherapist) herself says ‘The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives’.
Therefore, to say your approach to relationships in your everyday life isn’t having an effect on you would simply not be true.
So, it is at this level you must begin from wanting to make life better.
The level of wanting to learn how you can have happier and healthier relationships.
Relationships, which are founded on mutual respect, kindness and patience.
As mentioned on this TedX talk on unhealthy love, which is as much about family relationships and friendships, as it is love.
Something, which you can explore with a Psychotherapist at any age.
As a result, supporting you in creating a meaningful and less stress-induced life so you can actually enjoy life.
Since contrary to what you might think, relationships aren’t supposed to be stressful.
How Psychotherapy does this
You will derive to the conclusions above in your own Psychotherapy sessions, as you go through the process.
Which I talk about in more detail in my blog post 5 ways not to waste your time (or money) in Psychotherapy
And, by going through the process, you’ll understand three things about yourself:
- Where you are currently at in your relationships
- What you’re currently not doing in your relationships; and
- What you need to change in yourself to improve them
Now to be clear this is a progressive step.
It is not a step, which happens immediately.
Therefore, it is only through exploration with your Psychotherapist overtime you will derive to these conclusions.
To give you a better idea.
I like to think about Psychotherapy as qualitative (qual) research.
For example, for my purposes, I’m going to say there’s two steps in qual research.
Step #1: You have an idea of a topic but you don’t know what research is already out there on the topic
So you gather lots of research to support you in narrowing down your research topic.
In therapy, you know something isn’t quite right in your relationships or your life but you don’t know exactly what it is.
Therefore, your therapist is the research you seek out as you share your struggles with her/him week in week out.
And they give you information, advice and guidance to help you alter your perspective on your struggles.
Showing you, there’s another way to think and approach what you’re perceiving.
In particular, they do this by bringing in a multitude of perspectives (at appropriate times) from the fields of:
- Sociology; and
Therefore, giving you the option to make different choices to ones you have been making.
All of which, will contribute to you eventually changing your life for the better.
The power of changing your mind can be seen in the book Mind to Matter by Dawson Church.
As he shows changing your mind can change the energetic field of people within a 5 mile radius.
So not only do you help yourself by doing the work with a Psychotherapist, you help others too.
No additional work required.
Step #2: You conduct your own research, which can take the form of interviews
Once the interviews are complete, you analyse and review them, looking for specific themes in the data.
Therefore, allowing you to compare what has previously been found on the topic.
In therapy, you are the interviewee except you are the one who is directing the sessions and choosing where they go.
For instance, through opening the conversation with your therapist and sharing your struggles week in week out.
At different points during the sessions, you might turn into the interviewee, but you’re still the sole focus.
Not what your therapist wants to explore (as would be the case in research) but what you want to explore.
Your therapist during sessions might then give you tools and practices for you to implement outside your therapy sessions.
Tools and practices, which allow you to do your own inward reflection to derive to more insights for you to explore with your therapist.
The insights they provide you during sessions might not 100% make sense to you during the session.
But, then you do some more reflection (a.k.a analyses and reviewing) on what they meant.
And it might not hit you straight away.
But, like an idea, it will hit you when you least expect it to, either through a memory, or a situation arising in your life.
And, your first words will be OMG I can’t believe I didn’t see that before.
But you’ll also feel a sense of pride in having finally realised it because you would never have realised it were you not in therapy.
To be honest with you, sometimes (to begin with) you do feel worse.
But then you let what you’ve been told sink in over a few days and you find a way to keep going and move forward.
Therefore, remaining astounded at how far you’ve come since the first year or two with your therapist.
For instance, with the support of my therapist, I realised my reaction to a situation in my life was down to an old belief I had.
So, I asked myself if what I was thinking was really true?
Just like Katy Byron suggests in her book Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life.
And realised it was no longer true for me.
Therefore, allowing me to recall this when the situation arose again so I could reaffirm my new belief about myself.
2) Challenge limiting thoughts and beliefs
In learning how to improve the relationships in your life through:
- Altering your perceptions of them; and
- Providing you with different ways of approaching them
You also challenge limiting thoughts and beliefs about yourself and others.
For instance, instead of taking the actions of others personally, you begin to realise no-one is out to get you.
People aren’t purposely acting in ways to hurt you they just don’t know any better.
And it’s up to you to educate them (through instilling boundaries) on how they can and cannot treat you.
Not in an aggressive way, but in an assertive way.
A way, which is sensitive to both yours and their thoughts and feelings.
3) Increased self-awareness
What makes all of the above so effective in changing your life for the better is your increased self-awareness.
As you become familiar with unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Therefore, allowing you to replace them with more productive, healthier thoughts and behaviours, which make you feel good.
4) Feel differently
Lastly, once you think differently about your relationships and you increase your self-awareness…
You’ll also feel differently about yourself, others, and your life overall as you realize you have the power to make life better.
Therefore, changing your life for the better as you feel a lot happier and grateful for each of them.
Vow to work on improving your relationships and ensuring each of your relationships are happy and healthy.
If based in the UK, do this by booking yourself an appointment with your GP at your local centre.
And ask for a list of Psychotherapy practices in your area.
Overall, Psychotherapy can help you to change your life for the better by showing you how to improve your relationships, challenge limiting thoughts and beliefs and increasing your self-awareness.
All of which, helping you to feel differently about yourself, others and life.
Changing your life for the better as you make different decisions to the ones you previously would have made.
Now over to you, no matter how big or small, I’d love to know what you’re currently looking to change in your life.
So leave a comment below.