What is the Purpose of Therapy?
Formerly, mental illness had been a topic shrouded with stigma. However, with the emergence of celebrities coming forward about their struggles with mental illness, the topic has become not so faux pas. With these societal changes, more people are starting to seek out support through therapeutic services.
These changes have raised several questions about therapy, as such what does therapy actually look like? Is it just going in and talking to a stranger? How am I supposed to trust this person? These are all valid questions that a person entering therapy may initially ask. Therapy begins with meeting the client where he or she is at in terms of their change cycle. This could mean working with the client to address their apprehensions associated with therapy. Some people have had negative past experiences with therapists. As such, therapy begins with building rapport and a trusting relationship with the client.
Once a foundation of trust has been built, the therapist and client work in a collaborative manner towards the presenting issues that brought them to therapy. Therapy is a journey of self-discovery, where the therapist and the client work together to help the client in improving his or her life. This can mean a variety of things, depending on the individual. For some clients, the focus is on symptom management so to help a client learn how to address their symptoms. Sometimes, a significant change in a person’s life brings them to therapy. This can happen with the death of a loved one, a loss or change of employment or a change to a person’s lifestyle that has impacted the person’s functionality. These adjustment and lifestyle changes can be difficult to cope with and therapy can help to address these issues and improve this person’s quality of life. Ultimately, therapy is a service that can help an individual so to be able to thrive in one’s life.
-Dr. Holly Goller