For those people who are uncertain about psychotherapy:

It is a familiar thing to have a person call me about psychotherapy and express the idea that they are uncertain as to whether or not psychotherapy would be of help to them in their quest for a better life. There are several reasons to consider psychotherapy:

  • To deal with a present problem in a short time so that one's life may continue easily

  • To explore the roots of present difficulties in the light of a better understanding of the past roots of the problems

  • To understand better the meaning and goals of one's life and how to actualize them

  • To develop healthy living habits to avoid problems, and to promote psychological health and growth

The first type of need is a basic felt pain or uncomfortableness about a perceived present problem with the expectation that it can be resolved rather quickly. It is a desire to apply a "cure" without too much delving into the past. Some might call it  "attitude adjustment".

The second type is more oriented to understanding the past, with the expectancy that a better understanding leads to present growth and change. This type obviously will take a bit of time and patience. This is a more deliberate time-consuming process and commitment.

The third type of need is the feeling that there is a lack of proper goals and/or values which is impeding growth and happiness. The expectancy is that their may be problems but that it is not clear what these possible problems might be. It is a desire to find better ways to become all that one wants to be.

The last need is more of a "mental health maintenance" goal. It is to explore what the healthy person can be. The discussion is more philosophical, looking at the potential for human development in our society. Some societal criticism is inherent in this approach. This kind of felt need is fairly uncommon, but I am open to such discussions.