What Psychotherapy Is:
Psychotherapy is, at the core, an intimate discussion with a therapist intended to help you find practical and meaningful solutions to difficult life situations. You are looking for a therapist because you or someone you care about is hurting, feeling depressed or anxious, or locked in a situation that has no easy way out. There are many methods or techniques that are used by therapists, but the most important thing a therapist does is listen. In the context of a healing relationship, listening is the foundation of the work. No matter what technique or theory the therapist is using, if he or she doesn’t know how to listen to you their effectiveness is greatly diminished. It is from listening that the therapist knows how to offer an informed response to your specific request for help.
The most effective form of listening is something I call “deep listening.” Deep listening is a listening, not just to the words you use, but it includes how you present yourself, and the history that often lies hidden from view. This is “listening” to the feeling being communicated, the mood underlying the message being conveyed, the body expressions used in the course of the discussions, and your reactions to the therapist’s interventions and interpretations. This all becomes part of a very satisfying and productive dialogue that focuses on revealing your strengths and resources – then using them to change the old patterns of thinking and behavior that restricted you in the past, allowing you to move forward in your life.