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  • There is a lot that holds us back from trying out psychotherapy.

  • There is the idea that you have to be a little mad

  • or harbor some huge and strange problem

  • to go and see a therapist.

  • It can be hard to see that therapy isn't in fact

  • for the select, disturbed few,

  • it's for everyone.

  • Because, actually it's entirely ordinary

  • to be rather confused,

  • a bit anxious,

  • and sometimes challenged by relationships,

  • family life,

  • and the direction of your career.

  • So really, the only qualification for going to therapy

  • is to be a normal human being.

  • There is also the worry about the strangeness of it all.

  • It will be you and someone you've never met,

  • to whom your expected to divulge nothing less than

  • your inner life.

  • Why not talk to a friend?

  • Well, firstly, because friends aren't properly trained

  • to listen.

  • As one would have noticed,

  • they interrupt, a lot.

  • And secondly, because it's sometimes easier

  • to tell someone who has no prior knowledge

  • or expectations of you

  • the big and important things about who you are.

  • Furthermore,

  • Therapist are the last people ever to judge.

  • Their concept of a normal human being

  • is far more expansive than that held by society at large.

  • They know how unsual and surprising we are,

  • especially around sex and anxiety.

  • Their whole training

  • takes them into the recesses of their own and others minds.

  • They know how surprising we can all be.

  • It doesn't frighten them - it intrigues and motivates them.

  • That's why they became therapists in the first place.

  • They are in the end,

  • interested in mental health,

  • that means, in helping out.

  • Then there's the cost.

  • Isn't it all a fortune?

  • It might be the price of going out for dinner with friends,

  • which is both a lot, and not so much.

  • It really just depends on the value you place on it.

  • This is the crux of it:

  • Therapy is valuable,

  • because so many of our problems come down to

  • not having enough insight

  • into how our minds work:

  • What we want? What we fear?

  • Why we act the way we do?

  • and are overwhelmed by certain feelings?

  • The goal of therapy is

  • self-knowledge.

  • By talking a lot to someone who listens very carefully,

  • over many weeks

  • you come to deeper insights

  • into the mind you inhabit.

  • Patterns start to emerge,

  • a particular way of approaching relationships,

  • or dealing with defeat,

  • a recurrent, not very helpful, approach to jealousy,

  • an ongoing thing with your sister or father -

  • This is the stuff of therapy.

  • Knowing how to live isn't an instinct,

  • we are not born with it.

  • It's a skill.

  • And one of the places you learn it

  • is in the outworldly, slightly unusual

  • but in fact, deeply normal and productive setting

  • of a therapist's office.

  • It isn't a sign of disturbance to go to therapy

  • it's the first sign of sanity

  • and of a proper, grown-up commitment

  • to mental health.

There is a lot that holds us back from trying out psychotherapy.


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B1 中級

心理治療 (Psychotherapy)

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