When it comes to our physical health, we consider which gym to attend, which trainer we prefer or what type of gym gear is most comfortable. In contrast, we can be quite passive when it comes to choosing options around treating our emotional well being.
Off we trod to the local busy doctor’s surgery, where we are told briefly what we are suffering from, that we need a mental health care plan and that in most cases, the appointment could be weeks away. We may leave with some medication too.
And this is fine, for some.
It’s your mental health
But doesn’t it also make sense that as it is your mental health, you might also have an inkling of what’s wrong and what might help?
Unfortunately, other options outside of Medicare are not generally discussed at this appointment, which means other treatments that don’t fit within the medical model are not offered.
The choices you have
You have choices about how you go about treating your mental well being.
Other options include more collaborative approaches such as psychotherapy, and shopping around for who you want to work with.
It might interest you to know that outside of all the different approaches to therapy, research consistently shows that is the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist that predicts a successful therapeutic outcome.
In other words, we need to click with the person, we need to feel they ‘get us’ so that healing can take place. Essentially, we need to feel connected.
And for some clients, the therapeutic relationship might be the first place they have felt heard, respected and safe.
The benefits of psychotherapy
Here are just a few:
- You are not restricted by scope of practice (Medicare and other insurance providers prefer short-term economically viable approaches, these however do not suit everyone.)
- You are not restricted by time (you and your therapist will talk openly about how many sessions are needed).
- It is a collaborative approach (it is not a power dynamic – it is a healthy, mutually respectful partnership).
- It is more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach – good therapy goes beyond general strategies which may or may not fit the type of person you are. It is an ongoing conversation which embraces the client for who they are and the changes they might want to make.
Go on, give therapy a go!
“People only seriously consider change when they feel accepted for exactly who they are.”
– Carl Rogers
Australian Counselling Association: https://www.theaca.net.au/
Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia: https://www.pacfa.org.au/