September 25th is national Psychotherapy Day. There has long been a stigma surrounding psychotherapy and mental health. Some people believe that perhaps because there is nothing you can physically see, that any type of mental problem or suffering is a fabrication.
At a summit for a non-profit organization focused on mental health services, Michelle Obama stated “whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness and there should be no distinction”. This is the type of thinking that everyone should adopt. It is time that everyone understand what psychotherapy is and what the potential benefits of speaking with a psychologist are.
What is Psychotherapy?
In this brief, but insightful article by the American Psychological Association, Psychotherapy is described as a collaboration between psychologist and patient. A relationship is developed based on dialogue, in which the patient speaks openly to a professional that offers an open, nonjudgmental and neutral atmosphere. The two will work together to identify issues that need to be worked on and how to alter the patterns of thinking that may be harmful to mental health.
Just as a physician can prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol or treat an infection, a psychologist can help you see your problems from a new perspective. Oftentimes talking about your fears or anxieties can help surface thoughts or issues that have never been addressed. Talking to a therapist can also offer an approach free of medication. There are doctors who quickly prescribe a pill to treat anxiety when it may be more beneficial to tackle the mental health issues at the heart instead of appeasing them with medication.
Who Can Benefit from Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy can be useful to all types of people. The stigma attached to therapy has created a notion that only “crazy” people need therapists. This is absolutely not true. Individuals from teens to seniors can benefit from therapy. Whether the situation is dealing with past abuse, extreme stress, grief, feelings of loneliness, depression, sense of crisis, anxiety or obsessive thoughts, speaking with a professional who has been trained to deal with all kinds of issues has great advantages.
Psychotherapy and Physical Health
There are many studies that show that the mental has a deep connection with the physical body. People who suffer from depression are more likely to experience fatigue, while others with anxiety may have trouble falling asleep. If the brain and mind are healthy, then the body will feel the positive effects. Additional side effects of speaking with a psychologist include higher self esteem and improved relationships.
Is Psychotherapy For You?
- Difficulty concentrating on work or everyday tasks
- Excessive or constant worrying
- Feelings of sadness or helplessness
- Your problems aren’t going away, even with help from friends or family
- Your behaviour, such as substance abuse (drugs or alcohol), being angry or aggressive are affecting and hurting the people around you
Why not see if psychotherapy is right for you? Speaking with one of our MedVisit doctors may help you get more information and insight into what kind of attention you need.