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Jude's avatar

For those of you who underwent psychotherapy (talk therapy), how did it help you?

Asked by Jude (31980 points ) October 21st, 2010

What did it do for you?

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28 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

It taught me how to eliminate old thought patterns that were destructive. It gave me a very valuable insight into the person who had set those patterns (and installed those pesky buttons). It taught me a few basic tricks about how not to “loop” (playing destructive scenarios over and over in my head). It made me a much easier person to live inside. So much more, but that’s the basic stuff. It essentially saved my quality of life.

janbb's avatar

In short, it enabled me to like and accept myself.

marinelife's avatar

It revealed me to my inner thoughts and motivations. It helped me come to terms with the patterns of my family of origin and how they contributed to who I am.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It helps me see my deepest motivations and the roots of those. Through psychotherapy I gain insight into my most unrelenting thoughts. Most importantly, it gives me a clear understanding of myself in my places of origin. I learn about how my heart works.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It helped in different ways at different times in my life. Overall I would say the result was always that it helped me to get to the root of what was bothering me, why it manifested in the way that it did, and what I could do to change it.
In my experience, talk therapy can feel very slow moving. Often it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere, like it isn’t helping, but I think it really does take time to uncover and sort of pick apart the issues until you can find a real solution.

Ivy's avatar

My experiences are different than those above. It gave me questions that I needed to talk to myself about in order to figure out my answers. Talk therapy can be a great boat to the ‘other side’, but can be addictive in a lonely society and people can get stuck in the boat instead of paddling like hell to get out on firm ground again.

SuperMouse's avatar

It helped discover the reasons behind my patterns of behavior and thought. It helped me develop new ways of thinking that were less self-destructive. The talk therapy I am in now is helping my SO and I develop healthy patterns of communicating and relating to one another.

TexasDude's avatar

I only went for a few weeks when I was younger. It didn’t help much. He basically asked me “how I felt” over and over again and told me I needed to “stand up for myself.” I knew I needed to do that, I just didn’t know how. Anytime I asked him, he’d ask me how I felt again. It was a big circular conversation.

He might have just been a sucky therapist though, so just because my experience sucked doesn’t mean yours will.

troubleinharlem's avatar

It helped me to work through some tough times. I tend to keep emotions bottled up, but an unbiased person who had advice was extremely helpful for me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yeah, @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard , I’ had that kind of non-help in the past. Didn’t do anything. I found someone who gave me concrete tips on how to change my thought patterns, it made all the difference.

Jude's avatar

Well, wish me luck. I started with a therapist a few weeks ago. I spilled out my guts (life story) and now the process begins. I am hoping that she’ll be able to help me with grief and also, help to deal with a family situation. She is a therapist who happens to specialize in pain management. The family issue has to do with a sibling who suffers from debilitating chronic pain and has been going down the slippery slope. I have been her main source of support and all of this has worn me down. I can’t do it alone and need some guidance.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, @mama_cakes , Good Luck with all that. It’s a hard road you’re on, wish I could send you RL brownies right now. <hugs>

Jude's avatar

Just knowing that I have a few ears here and people who care, that helps a lot. :) Big hugs backatcha!

Jude's avatar

No matter how bad things get, I remind myself of Cak, and what a fighter she is. Such a strong, wonderful woman.

I’ll make it through just fine.

janbb's avatar

You go girl – you know you do!

downtide's avatar

I attended psychotherapy for about four months when my depression was at it’s worst. Not only did it not help me in the slightest. I ended up feeling far worse after each session than I did before. It was a total waste of time.

Coloma's avatar

I put myself into a year of therapy after divorcing my raging narcissistic ex husband almost 8 years ago.

It was the best thing I ever did for myself and spurred another several years of intense inner and spiritual growth work that literally completely transformed my life! :-)

My therapy experience was very validating and my therapist helped me rebuild my self esteem, was very supportive of my growth and insights, and held my hand during what I now call my ‘nervous BREAKTHROUGH!’ haha

The most wonderful and validating moment was a glowing letter she wrote for me during mediation for co-parenting with my ex.

She said that I was a very bright women with great insight and understanding of my situation and my daughter would clearly benefit from me being the primary parent.

I still have that letter, one of the few things I cherish after having the psychic crap beat out of me during those final years of my marriage.

Here’s to Mrs. Robinson! lol

YARNLADY's avatar

My experience was on a much lesser level, I visited a psychologist for a few weeks to learn how to deal with a family situation. I disapproved of the actions my son was taking, but did not want to alienate him completely. She helped me with some tips and ideas on how to communicate without condemning.

mrrich724's avatar

It worked well for me. I found that being in a less-than-ideal situation impaired my ability to see all possible ideas/perspectives. I was thinking in a circle that wouldn’t have been productive to my life.

Talking it out with someone who can be there to get the details of your situation and look it it from an unbiased perspective. Then they can talk you out of that “circular” thought.”

Well . . . that’s how it helped me.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I went when my ex husband and I were nearing our divorce and it did nothing for me.

tranquilsea's avatar

What is of utmost importance is finding a therapist that you click with. I had some that didn’t help and actually made things worse. It took me a year of going through therapists to finally find a psychiatrist that helped. Thank god too because I was in a bad, bad way.

Psychotherapy helped me where nothing else would.

I wish you all the luck with your therapy and I mean that in the kindest way.

DandyDear711's avatar

some of it was useful. had difficulty ending therapy but my psychologist took care of the problem. he died.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The more I talked, especially in group, the more I admitted to myself the truth. That was scary, seeing as how for years, I was exhorted to NOT tell the truth in order to keep the myth of my loving, caring, Christian family of origin intact. Which was all complete bullshit.

I think the turning point came in group one day when I told what I knew to be the truth about my origins and my memory of being told to never tell anyone where I really came from. Up until that point, I had, in the way that we all hang on to childish beliefs, clung to the idea that my guardian was right in that I was inherently a bad person who should have been ashamed of how I got here and that I was lucky she had deigned to take me in. The price for her munificence was to go along with everything she meted out without complaint, backtalk or revelation of our true circumstances to anyone for the rest of my life. Which was all complete bullshit.

And in a few moments with the therapist and the group, I came to realize that that entire scenario was craziness. All the covering up I did was insane and had nothing to do with me or my worth as a person at all.

You don’t need talk therapy for everything, but dammit, if it helps with busting up even one block like that, it’s worth it.

nebule's avatar

It has helped me to notice how much I ignore my feelings and swallow them down because sometimes they’re just too painful…and it has educated me as how to let my feelings out. It has also made me look the pain straight in the eye and love myself through it. It has uncovered many difficult memories about my childhood and adulthood and I now have the tools to deal with my emotions…but I’m still practising and it takes time.

I think some people (and in my experience that’s most people) expect you to go to counselling for a few weeks and then you’re sorted…or at least a lot better off. It simply doesn’t work like this…it’s a life long commitment to loving your self and treating your elf and others with compassion.

Coloma's avatar

@nebule

Excellent point!
Yes, it is a lifelong process and there is no perfect linear progress and no short cuts as well.

I have recently had occasion to out into ‘practice’ some skills in dissolving another long term biz./friendship relationship and think I handled things pretty well.

Knowledge without application is useless. :-)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Sometimes the most important starting point is having the therapist help you see a bigger picture. When I went in, I had my nose pressed firmly against one tree. She helped me to step back and see the forest. That was the first major turning point

Marodr13's avatar

It didnt.. I felt like I was there for an answer and got someone to chat with, for that I could have spoken with someone on facebook and got the response, NOTHING… I feel like it was a waste of time, and yeah its my fault because i thougth I was going to have some answers and instead had someone just listen which in fact may be something that you may need… But it does not hurt to have someone hear you out…

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