At some time in our lives, each of us
may feel overwhelmed and may need help dealing with life's challenges.
According to the National Institute of Mental
Health, more than 30 million Americans need help dealing
with feelings and issues that seem beyond their control--problems with a
marriage or relationship, a family situation, job loss, depression,
stress, burnout, substance abuse, or death of a loved one. The
losses and stresses of daily living can at times be significantly
At times we need outside help from a
trained, licensed professional in order to work through these problems.
Through counseling, counselors help millions of Americans of all ages
lead healthier, more productive lives.
- You feel an
overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness and
your problems do not seem to get better despite your efforts and
help from family and friends.
- You are finding it
difficult to carry out everyday activities. For example, you
are unable to concentrate on assignments at work or school, and your
job or class performance is suffering as a result.
- You worry
excessively, expect the worst, or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions are
harmful to yourself or to others. For instance, you are
drinking too much alcohol, abusing drugs, or becoming overly
argumentative and aggressive.
is a collaborative effort between an individual and the therapist.
It provides a supportive environment to talk openly and confidentially
about concerns and feelings. Therapists consider maintaining your
confidentiality extremely important and will answer your questions
regarding those rare circumstances when confidential information is
Psychotherapy Help Me?
to a research summary from the Stanford University School of Medicine,
some forms of psychotherapy can effectively decrease patients'
depression, anxiety, and related symptoms--such as pain, fatigue, and
nausea. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and
physical health are closely linked and that psychotherapy can improve a
person's overall health. There is convincing evidence that most
people who have at least several sessions of psychotherapy are far
better off than individuals with emotional difficulties who are
untreated. One major study showed that 50% of patients noticeably
improved after eight sessions, while 75% of individuals improved by the
end of 6 months.
Will I Know if the Therapy is Working?
begin therapy, you should establish clear goals with your therapist.
You might be trying to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with
depression or control a fear that is disrupting your daily life.
Remember, certain goals require more time to reach than others.
People often feel a wide variety of emotions during psychotherapy.
Some qualms about therapy that people may have result from their having
difficulty discussing painful and troubling experiences. When you
begin to feel relief or hope, it can actually be a positive sign
indicating that you are starting to explore your thoughts and behavior.