Good enough relationships with our earliest caregivers are crucial to secure human growth and development throughout life. If as children we were not cherished, kept safe, secure, listened to and supported we may feel ill at ease with ourselves, others and life. Often, we may have repressed difficult feelings, simply to get by.
Psychotherapy provides a secure environment and an opportunity to look at what might have been buried and never acknowledged. It offers you the possibility of making sense of unsuccessful behaviour patterns such as sleeping problems, unhappy relationships, addictions, a sense of meaningless in life, chronic difficulties such as mood swings, destructive relationship patterns, drug and alcohol misuse or problems with food. It can help you cope with depression, concerns about your capacity to parent, bereavement, eating problems, phobias and obsessions, self-harm, addictions, anxiety, abuse or trauma, identity confusion, relationship breakdown and feeling lonely and abandoned.
In psychotherapy you work with your psychotherapist to reflect on your past and present relationships to work through your emotional distress. This makes it possible to become more aware of the conflicts underlying your emotions and your actions; and to look more clearly and productively at yourself and your relationships with others in the present.
Psychotherapy is sometimes known as the ‘talking cure’. It actually means ‘Healing of the Soul’. It aims to help you understand your feelings and how you think. Psychotherapy is not about the psychotherapist giving advice, but through getting to know you, helping you work out how you might want things to be different and to create that change. Another way of looking at it is to see therapy as a journey, which you undertake jointly with your therapist. The journey is yours; the therapist is your witness and companion. What emerges on this path depends on your life history and your willingness to make sense of it all.