Being in therapy is great. I spend an hour just talking about myself. It's kinda like being the guy on a date. ~ Caroline Rhea
I'm sure many of you reading this must have spent many blissful hours yakking on the phone to your friends, while your parents stood by, hyperventilating! If not, it's time I tell you why this indulgence (annoying habit, if you ask parents!), is totally worth it...
Talk therapy, also known as Psychoanalytic therapy, was put forth by, who else, Sigmund Freud. Talking is an effective way to combat loneliness, share thoughts, comfort and be comforted. So then, why not make use of this pleasurable (when done in the right amount, of course!) activity for healing yourself?
Psychoanalytic Therapy/ Talk Therapy
Talking about things, gives you a perspective about the issue you are talking about, it helps in venting all the bottled up emotions, clearing misunderstandings, sorting the mess inside your head, etc... Talk therapy cashes in on all these uses of talking! There are basically three types of talk therapy.
- Interpersonal Therapy: The type of therapy which helps you deal with all the relationships (or the lack of them) in your life.
- Cognitive Therapy: The type of therapy which helps to change negative thought patterns, by analyzing the root cause of the problems, and helps you develop a more positive way of thinking.
- Behavioral Therapy: The type of therapy which addresses harmful behavior patterns, like various phobias or OCD patterns, by finding their source.
Benefits of Talk Therapy
There are many benefits of talk therapy, a few of which I've listed below:
An Unbiased Opinion
Talking to a third person helps you to get fresh perspective about a situation where the thoughts of the people involved have stagnated. When we are involved in a certain situation, our thoughts and opinions tend to be colored (subconsciously) by our prejudices and feelings. But a completely unrelated person can give a stale situation a whole new angle, simply by being neutral.
Have there been times you've cried yourself to sleep after scrolling through your contacts, and not finding a single person you feel close enough to confide in? Who you can message or call and pour out your emotions to, at any time of the day or night? Sucks huh? It's horrible to feel so lonely that you think only you can hug yourself through the low points in your life. In such a case, it is best to contact a therapist. He will ask you the right questions, while respecting your boundaries. He'll pull you out of your shell, and help you by suggesting ways to overcome loneliness.
Very often, we are scared of expressing ourselves to our friends and family, because we wonder what they'll think of us. This is specially the case if someone has developed an addiction or a vice. We fear being judged by the people who matter to us. In such a case, it helps to talk to a responsible person/ therapist who is equipped to deal with such things, and is more than willing to help you deal with your vices, without judging you or putting you under the scanner.
Empathy and Support
Most of the time, we are quite capable of solving our emotional problems ourselves, and all we need is a little moral support when the going gets tough. If you are not comfortable sharing your troubles with your family or friends, a therapist can provide the much-needed empathy, sans the earful that can be expected from family and friends for latching onto a bad habit! Or, in case you are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Your family and friends may not have the patience or time to keep consoling you even if they want to, if you are not showing any signs of improving or getting over the loss, even after a considerable amount of time. Despite their best efforts to be there for you, they have to live their lives. In such a case, a therapist could be the person to help you out by talking to you.
Types of Talk Therapy
- Individual Therapy: In this type of therapy, you have one-on-one sessions with the therapist, where you can confide all your problems without any fear of your privacy being violated.
- Group Therapy: In this type of therapy you sit with a group of individuals who share the same problems as you do, and share your experiences with the group. The therapist is also present, and he helps the people in the group analyze their problems, the causes of their problems, and helps the participants in coming up with solutions for them.
- Telephone Therapy: With everyone becoming so career oriented in today's fast, corporate world, there is not enough time to specially go to a counselor or therapist, or even shell out a lot of money. In such a case, a unique option would be to revert to telephone therapy. This option gives you the advantage of staying in the comfort of your home when talking to the therapist, besides avoiding a face-to-face conversation (if it makes you uneasy). Therapists who offer telephone therapy have flexible timings and you can make calls at your convenience. This is becoming a very popular option with many people!
Some people may dismiss this as psycho babble on my part. How, you may wonder, can talking actually be a good thing? Well, science has proof that talking can, indeed, have as much benefit as taking drugs! Yes, better believe that. Here are a few scientifically proven facts about talk therapy you may find incredible:
- Talk therapy can alter the activity of the brain just as well as taking drugs or medication.
- The PET and ECG scans, taken of people who have undergone talk therapy and those who took only medication, have shown similar results, indicating that the effect of talking and medication is almost the same!
So no, this is not just some 'psycho mumbo-jumbo' I'm going on and on about! This is serious stuff. Notice your mood the next time you get off the phone with your friend after a hearty chat, and I may just have won talk therapy another believer! And if talking doesn't do it for you, there are other unique types of therapy like art therapy, color therapy, aroma therapy, ozone therapy, Korean hand therapy, tapping therapy, music therapy, anodyne therapy, light therapy, flower essence therapy, Reiki massage therapy, game therapy, animal therapy, dance therapy, hydro therapy, hypnotherapy, (phew!) and so on. Choose what you love and heal yourself.