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Psychotherapy What It is, What It is for and Why to Do It?

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is that introspective journey in which a person, a couple, a family or a group of people meets a psychotherapist with the goal to overcome an internal lock that prevents everyone to play a full and rewarding life. It may be an emotional block that affects behaviour, relationships, work, but in any case, it is an existential condition that significantly limits the ability to make full use of one's resources, skills, potential and therefore meets that person's needs.

Unlike the social stereotype, however, psychotherapy is not just intervention on discomfort. Psychotherapy is also a great opportunity for growth, it is a process of understanding oneself, of how one gives meaning to reality and to oneself. In fact, each of us tends to confirm internalized mental schemes about ourselves and others, which activate behaviors consistent with these evaluation criteria, without giving ourselves the opportunity to grasp the authentic meaning of what one really feels. We, therefore, tend to activate automatic ways of doing things as the result of automatic thoughts that can limit the way of relating to oneself, to life, to others.

Expecting, for example, that you will always be disappointed by others, leads to adopting a defensive behavior that will tend to avoid the other or to attack him, precisely because there is basically a negative vision of those around us. This will probably provoke negative reactions from the interlocutor, confirming the idea of ​​not being able to trust the other.

Understanding these patterns helps to question one's way of seeing and acting which can often be a cause for discomfort and discomfort. A profitable course of psychotherapy thus allows you to develop a greater awareness of your way of being and functioning. Consequently, one becomes capable of making courageous choices towards one's authentic personal, emotional, social and working fulfilment. In other words, it is a matter of empowering oneself as well as overcoming problems.

But Who Is The Psychotherapist?

The psychotherapist is a doctor or psychologist who, having passed a specific State exam, necessary to be qualified to practice as a Doctor or Psychologist, has registered with the relevant Professional Register, and has then obtained a post specialization 4 or 5-year university degree in Psychotherapy, at a public (university) or private Specialization School recognized by the Ministry of the University.

What Work Tools Does A Psychotherapist Use?

The techniques of a psychotherapeutic intervention vary according to the theoretical model of reference (cognitive-behavioural, focused on the understanding and mobilization of thoughts and behaviors, family-focused on the exploration of the relationship with the affective figures of reference, psychoanalytic based on the analysis of unconscious contents) but all have the purpose of understanding and overcoming ailments of psychic origin through the interview, the word. For this purpose, psychotherapy makes use of theoretical and practical knowledge gained within Psychology. The c theoretical on-scene concern the understanding of human functioning from a psychological point of view. The practical knowledge instead represents the real intervention tools, such as dream analysis, hypnosis, paradoxical intervention, the interview. Theoretical knowledge is the Map, practical knowledge allows you to travel concretely in the Territory.

When Do You Go To Psychological Therapy?

When someone comes to therapy spontaneously or is dragged along by relatives, the common element is that their behavior, feelings, thoughts and perceptions have become inappropriate. And he doesn't understand why he feels so angry, depressed, so obsessed with daily habits or rituals, or so afraid of nothing. He says he feels useless, that they hate him, that no woman can love him, or that all women love him.

Maybe he is ruining his life by abusing substances or gambling despite his desire to quit, or he was washing his hands to ruin them, fully aware of how senseless and destructive all of this is. He could beat his wife or girlfriend to death but swear he loved her. He pushes people away from himself with his arrogant and proud attitudes, he ruins all the chances of social and professional success on his own, yet he is the first to notice these destructive patterns in others. He gets involved in a masochistic relationship, each time suffering the abuse and insensitivity of the partner, vowing never to make that mistake again.

Or he begins to develop asthma, gastritis, acne, despite the medical tests say that he is perfectly fine from an organic point of view. Or he is suddenly seized by cold sweats, his heart begins to accelerate when he is in front of the door of an elevator. Yet he knows full well how safe elevators are and that, in fact, he is more likely to slip and injure himself when entering a bathtub. The heart begins to speed up when it is in front of an elevator door.

These people do not understand what it is that makes them perform these behaviors, feel these feelings and take these points of view. They are aware that they are unhappy, indeed they are often more than intelligent to realize that all this does not make sense, but for some reason, they cannot change.

The same applies to quarrelsome couples, or to children and teenagers who seem to be enjoying their dysfunctional behaviors. The teenager who continually steals and does drugs and amphetamines usually understand this, but as it makes him feel good at that moment, his life begins to revolve exclusively around that. And that prevents him from doing other things and building anything in life - even if you can hardly get him to admit it openly.

But why if everyone around can see that the depressed friend has nothing to be depressed about, or that that shy, cautious and reserved man has become this way because he grew up with that intolerant and fickle parent, or that the adolescent who gets drunk every night hurts himself, they don't seem to see him?

The Short Answer Is That They Can't.

The depressed friend is stuck in his depression because, believe it or not, it is easier to feel depressed than to face what hurts. It is easier to believe that everything about oneself is useless and wrong, even if reality cries out to the contrary than to face what is happening. This is why depression seems so irrational: because it is a renunciation, a distraction from something else. This is why we are amazed if that attractive man, so talented and successful, whines, complaining that he has nothing and that he is worth nothing. Likewise, the beautiful, intelligent woman who gets involved with one dishonest and untrustworthy man after another prefers this, albeit unwittingly, to feeling and acknowledging the deeper dissatisfaction with herself and her life.

Many times people prefer to live a low-key life, below their means, rather than dealing with powerful feelings such as anger, pain or fear.

It is evident that these real dysfunctional self-deceptions are not deliberately established by the person, but unconsciously originated, over the years, through verbal and non-verbal interactions and communications that one has become accustomed to.

It is this unawareness that therapy seeks to clear up. This starts without strange esoteric, mystical or indefinable methods, but through a profound dialogue that looks at the symptom as an opportunity for change.

That headache that does not go away, or the binge eating, rather than not being able to be peacefully among others, are telling us that there are emotions that we are not listening to and needs that we are not expressing.

Apparently, senseless behaviors say that there are suspended moods that are even more painful than those behaviors and that one prefers to "cover" with other "actions" which, although exhausting, are less and less difficult to tolerate than the real problem.

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