Why therapy and not medication? That is the question. And the answer does not simply direct to the point that therapy poses no side effects whilst medications do. For most kinds of mental illness, there are deeper, more compelling reasons why therapy works so much better than simply popping a pill.
Whilst the thought of being able to solve all your problems and shut down anxiety just by taking a pill sounds really appealing, mental and emotional problems have multiple causes, and unfortunately, medication is not a one-stop cure. Prescribed drugs are most of the time effective in alleviating the symptoms, but not really treating the root cause of the problem. Take for instance, anxiety disorder. Sure, you can feel calmer and more relaxed after taking a pill. But until when before you take another dose? Medications do not go deeper into our childhood, trauma, past experiences, personality, relationships and all other aspects that make up who we are, which are also linked to our mental and emotional being. Furthermore, medication does not in any way, fix our relationships, help us figure out what to do with our life, or give us insights into why we continue to do things we know are bad for us.
And for all areas where medicine fails, therapy works.
It is true that therapy can be a very long and challenging journey. Whilst some are able to recover after a few sessions, other mental health patients often need more time, say several months to a few years. And that’s not because therapy is not effective, but because it does not offer a short-term solution to our problems. Mental illness is a complex disorder that can be attributed to different causes. Treating it requires efforts from both the therapist and the patient to achieve healing and recovery.
Therapy can be time consuming and challenging, and too often, uncomfortable emotions and thoughts often arise as part of the process. However, it promises long-term benefits that go beyond relief from symptoms. Even better, therapy can help a person know himself better, create a brighter perspective, and become a better, more resilient person – things no medication has ever done yet.
Furthermore, therapy gives us the tools for transforming our life, relating better to others, building the life we want for ourselves, and coping with stress and all other challenges we are bound to experience. It makes moving on from a traumatic experience more bearable.
And no, it is not just for the mentally ill. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health problem to benefit from therapy. A lot of people seek therapy for everyday concerns, from being more productive and focused, to improving their personal or social skills, developing better relationships, dealing with job stress, making positive habits, and more. Other people turn to therapy to learn coping mechanisms that will enable them to effectively deal with major transitions, such as retirement, divorce, or loss of a loved one.
Finding the right therapist will probably take some time and work. But the effort’s worth it. Finding a therapist who you are able to connect with is a key factor to the success of your treatment. You need someone you can trust, talk with comfortably, and someone who will be a partner in your recovery. Therapy will not be effective unless you have this bond. So it is always a good idea to look around and interview potential therapists. More importantly, to make the most of therapy, you need to apply all you’ve learned in your sessions into real life. When you are able to do this, you start to feel like you’re totally a different person – an absolutely better version of yourself.
For a free therapy taster session call Dionne on 0754 282 0678.