What is therapy ?
How do you change? In the type of psychotherapy that I do, a basic premise is that we are often not fully aware of how we are living and what options we really have. All too often we act mindlessly and automatically. We make choices and have assumptions about ourselves and the world without being completely aware of what we are doing, how we are thinking and how this is affecting our lives and the lives of the people around us.
The first step is to see clearly what is really going on now. In order to do this one has to be honest with oneself. To be completely honest is actually quite difficult because there is so much that we ignore because it would cause us pain or makes us anxious.
We all have a survival instinct which can also limit us because we react rather than respond. We are focused on the moment. Getting away from discomfort avoiding things at the moment and not seeing the big picure.
Psychotherapy is a process that creates a secure atmosphere that allows you to shed the limiting beliefs and assumptions that developed along the way that helped you in the past but are no longer useful. You can begin to see clearly as you begin to feel safe with a good therapist.
As you become more aware of the reality of your life, the good, the bad, the regrets and the challenges, you can also begin to discover strengths and resources and develop all aspects of who you are and who you can be.
Why not just talk to a friend ?
Friends are essential to a full life. However the type of honesty required in therapy is different.
A good therapist will risk the relationship to be honest with the person. Friendship can and should have some honesty but the entire focus of a therapeutic relationship is on the therapist explaining to the patient with understanding and compassion and hopefully in a way that the patient can hear.
A good therapist is like a good coach they can explain exactly what he or she is doing that is stopping them from changing and developing.
Friends offer support and advice but the friendship is not therapy. Friends may even deny to themselves problems that exist or not be skilled in how and when to be fully honest. Friendship is for the mutual support and enjoyment of one another not the work of helping a person change the way they are living their life. Therapy focuses on the work of change.
Frequently I hear : “I know what I do. I just keep repeating it. I feel hopeless.”
Therapy can help discover and strengthen those parts of yourself that can help you take the necessary steps to change. Often we feel overwhelmed by a problem or a pattern that we feel trapped in. We see ourselves repeating the same thing again and again. And yet there is hope.
We all have resources and strengths within us that we cannot see. When you are in middle of problem it is the toughest time to see clearly what else is available. The very fact you are searching here and still reading and thinking is a positive step.
My specialty is helping people find options when they feel there are none.
Contact me at LMD@drdrell.com or 202-232-8608
My office is convenient to downtown DC, Dupont Circle, Friendship Heights, Georgetown, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac and Silver Spring, MD as well as Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, VA 20007,20008,20009,20011,20002,20016,20036,20037,20814,20815,20816,20825,20854