"I don't need a therapist".
"I don't need a therapist, there's nothing wrong with me."
"I don't need a therapist, I'm strong and independent and I can figure this out on my own."
"How can talking about this stuff make any difference, you can't change the past!"
We have all heard these arguments. First, if you really don't want to see a therapist, then I believe you probably shouldn't. However... I also believe that you don't have to have something 'wrong' with you to benefit from the time spent with a therapist. Each visit is your time. Our relationship is about you... your thoughts, feelings, concerns, dilemmas. Taking an hour or two a week to talk to a trained professional who cares about you, can be a very empowering and relaxing experience. Our dialogue will help you gain perspective and understanding about yourself and why you do the things you do, why you feel the way you feel, why others might behave the way they do and how it all fits together.
Depression, anxiety, sadness, unhappiness, confusion, trouble making decisions: these are not signs of weakness; but they may be signs of having tried to remain strong for too long. Trusting in others, relying on others, seeking help, taking care of yourself: these are not signs of weakness... these are the signs of a strong person who is smart enough to know that those who seek, find.
What is Psychotherapy?
There are many different kinds of psychotherapy, but generally speaking psychotherapists are professionals who work with people who are struggling with their inner world of feelings, moods and thoughts, which often impacts on their ability to be happy and content with their lives and relationships. Relational psychotherapists in particular, enter into a helping relationship with their clients. Through regular meetings, client and therapist work together for the benefit of the client - to help the client understand their world(s) and improve their ability to find peace and contentment.
Psychotherapy is a registered health profession in many Canadian provinces including Ontario (where I am registered) and governed by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
For further reading about psychotherapy, I would recommend the following websites or resources:
Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy
Ontario Society of Psychotherapists
Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy
The following is a very select list of books on psychotherapy. They can be found in many libraries and bookstores. Most, if not all, will be available from Caversham Books; a bookstore in Toronto specializing in mental health that ships books nation-wide. Note that most of these books are rather academic in nature.
- Howard Bacal and Kenneth Newman. Theories of Object Relations: Bridges to Self Psychology
- Jean Baker Miller and Irene Stiver. The Healing Connection
- Peter Buirski and Pamela Haglund. Making Sense Together: The Intersubjective Approach to Psychotherapy
- John Bowlby. A Secure Base
- Laura Brown. Subversive Dialogues: Theory in Feminist Therapy
- Laura Brown and Maria Root, eds. Diversity and Complexity in Feminist Therapy
- Pat DeYoung. Relational Psychotherapy, a primer
- Steven Ellman and Michael Moskowitz, eds. Enactment: Toward a New Approach to the Therapeutic Relationship
- Judith Jordan, ed. Woman's Growth in Diversity: More Writings from the Stone Center
- Michael Kahn. Between Client and Therapist: The New Relationship
- Robert Karen. Becoming Attached
- Heinz Kohut. How Does Analysis Cure?
- Daniel Stern. The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life and The Interpersonal World of the Infant
- Morton Shane, Estelle Shane, and Mary Gales. Intimate Attachments: Toward a New Self Psychology
- Robert Stolorow, Bernard Brandshaft and George Atwood. Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach and The Intersubjective Perspective
- David Wallin. Attachment in Psychotherapy