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Just Starting Therapy--What to Expect?

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I recommend to everybody interested in therapy and how it works also (besides many articles and books - see Recommended reading in the Lounge, for example) the TV series In treatment, mainly it's "commented version" on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ControlMastery

Here is a short quote from one of the comments, quite general:

Psychotherapy is fundamentally a relationship between two people, much like the relationship a patient might have with a close friend. The reason the patient has to go to a professional rather than to a personal friend relates mainly to the psychological backwardness of our society. Were our society more advanced, friends would be more understanding at an intimate level, more supportive, and more ready to offer helpful advice. In a truly advanced society, there would be little need for psychotherapists.

In the therapeutic relationship, the patient attempts to gain the self-understanding he or she needs to begin living in a new way. One path toward this self-understanding involves dramatic reenactments that usually relate to hurtful childhood experiences even though the subject matter being discussed may focus on contemporary situations. In these emotional reenactments, the patient may be acting as he or she did as a child in hope that the therapist would not react with traumatizing behavior, as one or more parents regularly did. Or the patient may take on the role of the traumatizing parent in hope that the therapist would not be traumatized as the patient once was, thereby providing the patient with the hope that the therapist will prove helpful in mastering the trauma. These dramatic reenactments bring a level of complication to intimate relationships that untrained people do not expect or understand. As a result, friends may react in unhelpful ways by either traumatizing the person anew or by being traumatized by what the patient did. Trained professionals are taught to react in helpful ways no matter the provocation to act otherwise.

Good luck with your therapy, SongBird! :)


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