How Does Therapy Help?

4 minutes Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

Therapy helps because it provides healing and clarity. The safe space of a therapist’s office makes it possible for us to empathetically reflect on our lives. We can then make changes that support our own growth, goals and overall happiness.

A therapist is like having a compassionate guide that helps you to change your behavior or to recover from the things that may have hurt you. Time with a therapist will help you to understand the way you cope and if those coping skills help, hurt or even do a little of both. 

Often therapy can be seen as a fix for something bad, but said another, and perhaps more truthful way: therapy helps you to have more of the life that you want. It can help you succeed more in your career or chosen passions, and it can even have an impact on your health by decreasing stress or depression. Therapy has the power to improve your life profoundly.

Below are two example situations that explain how therapy might play a positive role in someone’s life.

Healing from a Difficult Relationship 

Many of us learned coping skills at a young age which may have served us in the situations that we were raised in. For example, if you grew up in a home with a strict, sometimes cruel parent that expected perfection, then you may have developed skills that helped you to achieve, but also taught you how to please others before yourself. This could then show up in romantic relationships or friendships later in life that have unhealthy power dynamics.

In this scenario a therapist would help you find ways to fulfill your own needs, as well as address the hurt that growing up in a difficult environment caused. In certain therapeutic approaches, the relationship with a therapist could serving as a proxy for the parent you wish you’d had, helping you to heal, to feel more secure, and to learn to treat yourself with more attention and kindness.

Through therapy, you will begin to learn skills and feel empowered to set more appropriate boundaries with destructive people, and deepen your relationship with those who are most important to you.

Changing an Unhelpful Behavior

It’s common for people to develop ways of coping that may or may not serve us. Perhaps, as an example, you often find yourself overspending on things you don’t really want. This behavior has led you to feel negatively about yourself, and it seems to create more problems than it solves. While it feels good to buy something, once it’s in your home for a little while it loses its luster and you often feel regret.

In this situation, therapy would help you to examine why you spend money in the way that you do and to practice alternate ways of responding in those moments. Spending some time with a professional will help you to reflect on your own pattern of responding, which allows you to take a step back from your actions and change the ways you might react to the world.

Working with a therapist should help you to gain more control over your actions and choices, creating a greater sense of ownership of your own life and future.

How It Helps

Our thinking and our emotions define the way we move through the world, and our own actions are the only thing we can control. As they say, “knowledge is power”. Learning more about why you feel the way you do and the ways that you operate helps you to be more empowered and secure, which in turn helps you to build a more self-fulfilled life. 

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C. Adamo, PhD

Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

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