Recently I saw a man whose drinking had gotten so bad that it was going to cost him his wife and family. After two sessions of straight talk, he’d gotten sober and changed the course of his life. Before therapy he didn’t even realize he had a drinking problem.
Then I saw a recent college grad who was so stressed out by his new professional position that he wasn’t sleeping, had high anxiety and depression, and wanted to quit. After three sessions of cognitive therapy and exposure exercises, he said he’d improved 75% and had decided he could stay on for the time being and therefore keep his signing bonus. Yay!
Another woman was attractive, bright, and personable and came in for wedding jitters in the middle of wedding planning. After several months of therapy, she concluded she didn’t have cold feet; she was gay. She called off the wedding and is now living happily with her lesbian partner.
Do you get the picture I’m painting here? Sometimes people need therapists to tell them things they won’t tell themselves. Other times they need tips and skills. Still other times they just need a place to listen to themselves so they can draw their own conclusions.
In nearly all cases, talk therapy is a bridge to understanding.