Therapy helps you to explore your strengths, weaknesses, and desires, and to make a clear-eyed assessment of just how challenging the road ahead is. A good life will include striving and struggling, but if you become discouraged, therapy will help encourage you toward a realistic, enlivening future.
ANXIETY & PANIC MANAGEMENT
Despite it being so painful, anxiety is a part of the human condition. But three key ideas can help you understand how therapy can teach you to keep it in a healthy range:
1) Deciding you’ve had enough of the negative impact on you signals to yourself that you deserve to get healthy.
2) Taking seriously how loud and pervasive anxiety can be helps you see how it may drown out other emotions, and thus motivates you to learn to distinctly distinguish it.
3) Whether you seek to get past specific, concrete blocks, or more deeply seated concerns that keep resurfacing in different guises, stop trying to keep people and ideas in your life if doing so helps them and hurts you.
For a longer discussion see our series on anxiety
The symptoms of depression tend to come from your appraisal about what it means that something you didn’t want to happen did. It may be something seemingly trivial, or clearly catastrophic. But the reaction goes far beyond sadness; it tends toward harsh anger at yourself, which leads to a hopelessness for the future in general. Treatment for depression, then, requires not giving up on yourself or your future, but rather truly letting go of what you’ve lost. Learning how these differ is fundamental to healing from this pernicious foe.
For a longer discussion please see our post on Depression
OVERCOMING LIFE CHANGES
Treatment for dealing with life changes will benefit a lot from three core ideas:
1) All humans strive toward unconscious goals. Therefore, all your interpretations, choices, and behaviors are goal oriented. Major life changes really put a damper on our goals, which seriously impact our interpretations and choices about what can be done.
2) We develop our signature style of dealing with blocks to our goals at a very young age, so when life hands us changes we didn’t develop a plan for, we can freeze up or even crash.
3) Even after massive, painful change, we still retain the desire to engage with life in a fulfilling way. Therapy can help you summon the courage to understand what has happened deep down, and develop the tenacity to rebuild or start over.