I found a website that purports to explain how therapy helps: https://helpguide.org/articles/emoti...p-you-heal.htm
. In fact, there is even a section specifically devoted to explaining how therapy and counseling can help. I would like to annotate that section.
How therapy and counseling can help
Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive person makes you feel better.
** I am not sure that it makes me feel better, since I seem to have the same problems no matter how long I remain in therapy.
It can be very healing, in and of itself, to voice your worries or talk about something that’s weighing on your mind.
** In what way can it be healing? Does it reduce symptoms of social anxiety, for example?
And it feels good to be listened to—to know that someone else cares about you and wants to help.
** I experience frustration, since my life does not seem to improve in therapy. I seem to remain the same person, no matter what.
It can be very helpful to talk about your problems to close friends and family members.
** Helpful in what way? How does it help?
But sometimes, we need help that the people around us aren’t able to provide.
** Is this in reference to symptoms? There are professionals who can reduce the symptoms of mental illness?
When you need extra support, an outside perspective, or some expert guidance, talking to a therapist or counselor can help.
** In what way does this help?
While the support of friends and family is important, therapy is different. Therapists are professionally-trained listeners who can help you get to the root of your problems, overcome emotional challenges, and make positive changes in your life.
** What positive changes? Specifically, what?
You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health problem to benefit from therapy.
** How does one benefit from therapy?
Many people in therapy seek help for everyday concerns: relationship problems, job stress, or self-doubt, for example.
** Obviously. But what do they get from therapy? What is the outcome?
Others turn to therapy during difficult times, such as a divorce.
** How does therapy help people who have gone through a divorce?
Why therapy and not medication?
The thought of being able to solve your problems with taking a pill each day can sound appealing. If only it was that easy! Mental and emotional problems have multiple causes, and medication is not a one-stop cure.
** Does this imply that psychotherapy cures mental illness? It would be helpful if the author stated this more explicitly. It sounds more like a hint.
Medication may help ease certain symptoms, but it comes with side effects.
** Is this to imply that psychotherapy also eases certain symptoms? This would be valuable, if it were true.
Furthermore, it cannot solve the “big picture” problems. Medication won’t fix your relationships, help you figure out what to do with your life, or give you insight into why you continue to do things you know are bad for you.
** Does therapy do those things? Why was none of this mentioned in the previous section? I have had roughly 14 years of psychotherapy, I am now 52 years old, and I have no personal awareness of psychotherapy fixing a relationship, helping me figure out what to do with my life, or providing me any insight into anything whatsoever.
Therapy can be time consuming and challenging, as uncomfortable emotions and thoughts often arise as part of the treatment process.
** What is the point of treatment? Helping me to figure out what to do with my life? Has anyone here had the experience of therapy helping them to figure out what to do with their lives? Has therapy helped anyone fix a relationship?
However, therapy provides long-lasting benefits that go beyond symptom relief.
** So therapy relieves symptoms of mental illness? I've never experienced this, and I wonder why the author just didn't say so directly. Why is it merely implied? I get the impression that the author is shy to state directly that psychotherapy relieves the symptoms of mental illness. Given my own experience with psychotherapy, I can see why they might be shy about this.
Therapy gives you the tools for transforming your life—for relating better to others, building the life you want for yourself, and coping with whatever curveballs come your way.
** Finally, we come to something that sounds like a reasonably direct statement of how therapy can help a person. But I never experienced any of these benefits, and I feel left out. Have other people found that therapy helped them transform their lives, build the life they want for themselves, and cope with whatever curve balls come their way? It seems alien to me, in the sense of not corresponding to any experience I ever had in therapy.