The Value of Psychotherapy

What many people don't realize is that the relationships we sustain in our lives are the key to a fulfilling and satisfying existence. We are wired to be relational beings, and to connect with others. This means that we actually need each other to thrive and grow, and to feel a sense of safety in the world. Knowing this, it's no wonder that we feel devastated, disoriented and completely thrown off kilter when our relationships falter and fail.

This also explains why we so often feel chronically disappointed and dissatisfied in our personal relationships. Relational needs start when we are young, and if those normal developmental needs are not met adequately, we can spend the rest of our lives trying to get from others what we didn't get as children. This is probably the main driving factor behind most love relationships; an unconscious hope that our partner will finally provide what has been missing.

This is where therapy comes in. The therapeutic relationship within the framework of most psychodynamic therapy is what heals the pain of the past. Most of our problems surface within the interpersonal realm of relating. This is what we often refer to as triggers or someone pushing our buttons. Things get activated within a relationship that probably would never surface if we spent all our time alone.

The beauty of the therapeutic relationship is that it creates a safe and healing forum in which relational issues can surface or become activated. Once brought to awareness, these relationship dynamics can be played out. Needs from the past can either be met, or grieved, depending on each person's personal experiences.

Most people don't realize the power of the therapeutic relationship, and become frustrated only to leave therapy prematurely. This can take time, and it usually isn't discussed, but trusting the process and being patient will serve you well.

Photo by Travis Grossen on Unsplash