Can Talking Make a Real Difference?

At the start of therapy people often ask me how it can help to talk about their problems, - their argument being that talking doesn’t actually solve any of the real practical problems they face in life. It is a bit of a mysterious process, but saying things out loud to another person can feel like a tremendous relief, and feels completely different from the thoughts going around in your head. There is something about the process of speaking about issues that feels very different.

And of course the role of a good therapist is to think with you about what is going on. I always believe that two brains a better than one. We all have blind spots, - especially about ourselves, and talking with someone may lead to them helping you identify patterns of behaviour that may have been mysterious to you, and may also be destructive to yourself or your relationships with others.

Another common question on starting therapy is to wonder whether it is better to leave the past in the past, and how dredging up the past can address current problems.

It can be very difficult to go back and think about things that you may have pushed out of your mind, or feel too long ago to be relevant anymore. The real question is whether the past is still present and affecting the way you feel about yourself, and the way you form relationships with others now. Untangling how the past may have scarred you can lead to the possibility of change in your feelings and relationships now. If you can see what you do and why you do it you have an opportunity to have more choice with your reactions, instead of being stuck in familiar and unhelpful patterns.

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