Everyday millions of people around the world are affected by psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Our psychological well-being plays such an important role in affecting our relationships, careers, and happiness. Many people who seek professional treatment are often confronted with choices such as whether to take medication, seek psychotherapy, and sometimes both. It’s true that although some conditions may require that you seek medication there is no short cut to feeling our best. Finding greater fulfillment in life, making healthy choices, and improving our relationships can take a lot of hard work, and psychotherapy can provide you with the tools to do this. Not only has research shown that psychotherapy can be just as effective as medication for certain conditions, it does so without the side effects!
It is quite common for people to seek out simple solutions, quick fixes, or miracle cures when confronted by life’s problems. And for some there may be simple solutions- but what do you do when there isn’t? That’s where psychotherapy can be helpful. Psychotherapy is a collaborative process that involves introspection, feedback, and emotional support. It is through this process that you gain the skills and tools to solve difficult life problems. You learn to think differently, process your feelings and cope more effectively, and the skills that are developed in psychotherapy can stay with you throughout your life.
People often seek psychotherapy in order to explore thoughts or feelings that may bring up shame, embarrassment or discomfort. It can be important to do so in an environment that feels safe and free of judgment. Psychologists are trained to listen in a way that allows you to identify your feelings, and find healthy solutions to difficult problems. Psychologists are legally and ethically required to keep what is discussed in psychotherapy confidential, so unless you or someone else’s life is in danger, your thoughts and feelings are kept safe.
One drawback to the use of medication can be the troubling side effects. We are all familiar with the long list of side effects which accompany all medications, and which often times include the very symptoms for which you are taking the medication. Psychotherapy can be a healthy alternative which not only addresses your emotional well-being but the benefits can extend to your overall physical health as well. Many people with mild-to-moderate depression even report a decrease in symptoms after just a few visits.
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