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Depending on your symptoms and your willingness to take medication, I can make a recommendation to a qualified psychiatrist who will conduct a thorough evaluation and prescribe appropriate medicines – if warranted – to treat your symptoms. Often taking medication for depression or anxiety is a personal decision and one best made thoughtfully with your therapist.
Research suggests that therapy effectively decreases depression and anxiety and related symptoms: pain, fatigue and nausea are some examples. Psychotherapy has also been found to increase survival time for heart surgery and cancer patients, and it can have a positive effect on the body’s immune system. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked and that therapy can improve a person’s overall health status.
By creating a safe, understanding environment, your therapist can help you find ways to become more open to yourself, even to parts of yourself that you have ignored or avoided. This allows you to acquire information about your needs and wants through more awareness of your feelings and thoughts. It is through this process that you can gain clarity about the problems you are addressing, whether they be depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, eating disorders, or something else. It is this deeper understanding, combined with practical, behavioral changes that often provide the relief you seek.
Here are some reasons people consider therapy:
- They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness or they lack hope in their lives.
- Their emotions (anxiety, for example) make it hard for them to function from day to day.
- They are having trouble achieving their personal or professional goals because of fears, anger or other troubling feelings.
- Their actions or emotions are harmful to themselves or others. For instance, they may drink too much alcohol or become overly aggressive when angry.
- They feel “stuck” in some important part of their life and want to understand what is getting in their way.
Therapy, or psychotherapy, might be called counseling, but this does not fully capture what takes place in ongoing therapy. Certainly, counsel is provided. But, therapy is much more. In an ongoing therapeutic relationship, you and your therapist will work together to discover the nature and root cause of your problems. In regularly scheduled meetings you and your therapist will develop increasing awareness and understanding of your problems and how best to resolve them.