When I am asked by new patients to explain the process of psychotherapy, I like to use the example of someone trying to complete a goal, solve a problem, make a repair, or strengthen a foundation, but doesn’t have all the tools needed to complete the job. They have tried their best with all the tools they have in their ‘toolkit’, but just can’t solve the problem or get the result they need. In this situation, some of us will become frustrated and disappointed and stop our efforts. Some of us will keep trying, getting angrier, then disheartened and possibly making the problem worse.
Psychotherapy can help us with learning about and using new ‘tools’ that meet the needs of the issues or problems we want to resolve.
These tools can include changing a way of thinking, trying some new communication skills, becoming skilled at avoiding conflict and increasing understanding, maintaining healthy limits and boundaries with ourselves and others, identifying what is missing in our life, and learning what is within our reach.
With the same ease of mind we would have in going to our favorite hardware store to get the tools we need to get a job done, we can apply this same common sense approach with psychotherapy – “I need more tools. I need better tools. I need to learn the best way to use the tools.”
Using ‘new tools’ may move us out our comfort zone.
They may challenge long-held beliefs or feel awkward and even difficult as we tackle the unfamiliar. Conversely, human beings are creatures of change who enjoy challenges. Think of a time when you were dealing with a new job situation or working on a new project in school and had the feeling of excitement and anticipation of learning new information, mastering a task, or fully understanding a new concept. It may have been intimidating at first, but you eventually became comfortable and confident in what you were doing.
If you are having trouble finding the tools you need to live your life to fullest, there are people with the experience and understanding to help. Consider psychotherapy and counseling. You can schedule an appointment with Lone Star Circle of Care by calling 1-877-800-5722. If you are already a patient, you can use the Patient Portal to set up an appointment.
Blog post written by Harry Livesay, LCSW-S
Lone Star Circle of Care