What is Psychotherapy?
by Raymond E. Lovett, MA, MSW
Psychotherapy is the work of healing emotional pain. In part it is an art form that demands an openness to the mystery of suffering and behavior for therapist and patient. We rely heavily on the exploration of the unconscious, that vast vault of recorded pain, pleasure and defense. As therapists we use a lifelong study of self to increase our ability to listen. This informed silence magnifies presence and elicits new and creative responses in both patient and therapist, including curiosity, trust, an expanded sense of self, access to feeling, which open pathways through repression and long defended pain. From this unique relationship both patient and therapist contend with the complexity of humanity, the inevitable powerful pain of loss, awareness of evil in the world, self and others. This art and science we call psychotherapy births a longing for connection that dispels the most destructive forces of loneliness, replacing them with choice, passion, opening the ongoing possibility of a ” clearer, perhaps even a fiercer life.”
Psychotherapy is a process aimed at increasing self, decreasing emotional burden, a backlog of hurt you might say, that leaves one prone to feel badly, to overreact to hurts, to be anxious, to break out in bodily symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, digestion problems and others. The therapist’s unique skill can help you lessen your defenses thereby opening awareness to your unconscious feelings. Many of these hurts originate in the family, others from trauma such as sickness, loss of lovedwareness. This process is unlike other personal of a kind external circumstances effecting your pain. The innate desire to avoid pain elicits defense mechanisms that ward off attention to that pain thereby creating an opportunity for interaction because the therapeutic relationship focuses exclusively on you and your one victimization, or other forms of bad luck. Every life has pain, some have more than is fair or tolerable. Therapy can alleviate some of this pain and teach ways to cope with its effects. A number of recent studies show that psychotherapy works for both genetically affected severe depression and anxiety to less severe pain, such as mourning the loss of a loved one. Therapy is established as one of the most helpful tools in living a full life.
A single consult can begin a self help journey that will enrich your emotional life.
Ray and Leonard, both members of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, have been friends for many years. Ray is a published and honored poet. He lives and practices in Pawlet Vermont and you can visit his website at: http://www.psychotherapyforfathers.com/