I think I might be inadvertently starting the Dr. Deb fan club. After reviewing her superb book and interviewing her for a post earlier in the week, I came across this article. She wrote What to Expect in Psychotherapy for Psychology Today’s blog. It is seriously THE BEST article I have seen about psychotherapy in a long time – maybe ever.
In her article she writes about the differences between a psychotherapist and a friend (hint: it’s not just the money). She also highlights the often-forgotten point that participating in therapy can often make you feel worse, not better – at least in the short term. She also writes about the HARD WORK it takes to be a successful psychotherapy patient, meaning one who is able to achieve the change they seek in their lives.
Sometimes folks seek therapy thinking that their therapist will give them answers, tell them what to do, and be the best friend they may or may not already have. Dr. Deb reminds us that this isn’t true. Psychologists are well-trained health care providers – “Olympic medal listeners” she calls us. Therapy can be a long, arduous process. In fact, we may not always want to go to our psychotherapy appointments (much like we don’t always want to go to the gym, or visit the dentist), but in the end – if we are committed to the process – our health improves as a result.