Help me, Counselor…
It is quite like re-programming a computer. The outdated software that is probably loaded with virus (self-critical, negative and harmful thoughts) is replaced by a new version of positive, encouraging, future-oriented and healthy thoughts.
How does it help?
As we are brought up, most of us have learned to feel loved and/or valued only when talk/behave in a particular way. In this some of our strange desires and impulses, or so-called abnormal thoughts and perversions are curbed (for the fear that they might not find acceptance). However, considering there are both positive and negative shades in each human’s personality, both of them need acknowledgement. Within a counseling set-up one gets not only an unconditional respect, whatever the private thought process maybe like, but also methods to synchronize these thoughts with our day-to-day living. Provided these desires and impulses are not too crazy, in which case one will need more intense help, talking about them will amalgamate the various shades in one’s personality, thinking and self-esteem into a healthy whole. This leads to better self-understanding, self-acceptance and maturity.
Secondly, when friendly advice is not available, or not neutral, ‘talking cure’ can be of great help. Consider a woman in 30s going through a divorce. Her girlfriends might keep ranting on the weaknesses and negative shades of the ex-husband’s personality. The woman, rather, is confident of her decision, has already made peace with the fact of divorce, and needs more of life-management conversations. Her parents might be too shocked. The woman, now, would need to handle them also, along with shouldering the responsibilities of being a new single mother. She might be quitting her job for paucity of time, thus entering the lane of financial stress. Where and whom does she turn to? An empathic listener, who could reframe her concerns in a more positive wording. A career-guide who could provide her with some resources for landing a less time-energy consuming position. A non-judgmental friend. A safe-place for regaining a sense-of-control.
Relief from stress, doing away with isolation, getting stuff ‘off the chest’, gaining a new perspective, putting feelings into words, hope-generation, catharsis and skill-building are some additional advantages of going in for therapy.