What should a person talk about in therapy?
One of the primary goals of therapy is to address the problem or problems that are overwhelming to a person. These do not always have to be major traumatic experiences, such as divorce, grief, loss, anxiety, job loss, or addiction. People may wish to discuss themselves in general, exploring their past experiences in order to gain a better understanding of themselves and their thought and behavior patterns.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to dialogue and discussion during talk therapy. The facilitator of a session may ask some questions to help a person get started. In other cases, the person undertaking the therapy sessions may talk about whatever is on their mind, and the discussion will stem from there.
A person should never feel forced or pushed by their therapist to discuss events or experiences they are not yet ready to address. If a therapist asks a question that a person feels uncomfortable answering, the person can simply state that they do not wish to discuss it. A therapist may try to guide discussions, allowing the person to make connections between experiences, thoughts, and behaviors, but a therapist will not force a person to discuss things they do not wish to discuss.
What conditions might talk therapy benefit?
Anyone can potentially benefit from therapy sessions, from those who could use some more clarity and direction in life to people who are struggling with mental health conditions.
That said, there are a few conditions that psychotherapy might be particularly helpful for:
- clinical or situational depression
- generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety
- bipolar disorder
- eating disorder
- substance abuse or addiction
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- obessive- compulsive disorder (OCD)
- adjustment disorder
This is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of conditions that might benefit from talk therapy. Anything that interferes with a person’s usual daily life may benefit from talk therapy sessions.
Choosing a type of therapy
A therapist will usually try to pinpoint the type of therapy that is best for treating a person’s condition. Often, the therapist will disclose the type of therapy they believe will be most beneficial during the initial appointment after having a conversation about the person’s emotional state, challenges, and goals.
Alternatively, a person may choose the type of therapy they would like to receive by selecting a therapist who specializes in that area. In this sense, the type of therapy an individual chooses goes hand in hand with the therapist they will use. Some psychologists specialize in CBT, which may be particularly effective in treating symptoms Trust Source associated with anxiety. Meanwhile, people lacking self-esteem, a sense of purpose, or who are struggling with how they can reach their full potential might find humanistic therapy to be a good fit.
Ultimately, the type of therapy a person selects should be a method that is proven to address their issues and identify possible solutions. As mentioned earlier, a mental health professional can help a person choose the correct form of therapy for them.
How to choose a therapist
Similar to choosing a therapy type, a person should select a therapist with careful consideration. It is important to understand that therapists are all very different. That is to say, each person will have slightly different needs. It is perfectly acceptable to switch therapists if one is not adequately meeting a person’s needs, even if that therapist has experience with the person’s condition and comes highly recommended. Talk therapy is a very personal experience that requires a great deal of honesty and opening up. This means the personality of a therapist may matter a great deal.
While the task of selecting a therapist can seem overwhelming, an individual may find it helpful to begin by targeting what their reasons are for seeking therapy. For example, if a person is constantly on edge, or experiencing frequent anger issues or depressive episodes, they might search for a therapist who specializes in anxiety and dpressionTrustedSource.
A healthcare professional might also be of help during this process. If a general practitioner diagnoses a person with a mental health condition, they might also be able to help in recommending therapists who have experience with that particular condition.