Smith speaks on benefits of therapy • Jennifer Smith, Marriage & Family Therapist
As a therapist, I am often asked the question, “Why therapy?” As I was creating my website, www.jenniferpsmithlmft.co I attempted to answer this question in a succinct manner. The following is my belief about one’s need for therapy.
• As human beings, in our imperfect state, we all have challenges of one type or another that may overwhelm us and affect our personal functioning and relationships.
• We all "get off track" at one time or another.
No matter how difficult our challenges, we all have the ability to change for the better. The healing or resolution of our issues will require shifts in our thinking about ourselves and about the circumstances we face, as well as new behavior on our part, and possibly on the part of the family system in which we operate.
We may not be able to meet these challenges alone, and will need the help of an objective, trained ear that can lead us to better ways of functioning and health, and therefore help "get us back on track."
Therapy is a joining of client and therapist insight that can lead to practical solutions and healthier functioning. The result can be a more peaceful and fulfilling life and enhanced relationships.
Therapy is an intentional decision to get assistance for change. Most people enter therapy as a result of a relationship crisis of some type. Usually, the ways they have attempted to solve their particular problems have not worked, or have even created more difficulty. Therefore, therapy is a choice towards a solution that works. It is rare that a person comes to therapy unless a crisis has prompted them to do so. This may be an actual conflict with another person or family member or an internal conflict with self.
It is my belief that a crisis of relationship, although not desired, can be an opportunity for something to change for the better. Maya Angelou once said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”
Therapy can be a chance for change, for enhancement, for a more positive and intentional life.
Socrates said, “ An unexamined life is not worth living.” Therapy is a chance to examine our lives in a non-judgmental, caring space. Good therapy produces more empowered individuals who are healthier, wiser, freer and more autonomous.
As a therapist for 22 years, who has also benefited from many hours of my own therapy, I hold strongly to the belief that therapy works, and can lead one to a more enlightened and fulfilling life. If you or someone you know has a need for therapy or has questions about therapy, please go to my website to find my contact information. All inquires are confidential.
In the end, we are all in the same boat because we all have something with which we struggle. Good therapy will help one identify their personal struggle, join with them in that struggle and teach them how to struggle well.
Printed in the January 31, 2013 edition