If you happened to read Todd Essig’s article in Forbes’ online magazine, you may recall an image he used. He suggested that some therapies are like an established piece of sheet music, while talk therapy is more like well-structured improvisational jazz. What does that mean and why is it relevant to results?
First, talk therapists don’t follow a uniformly standard format. When we meet with someone, we take the time to get to know the individual. This knowledge allows us to assist that person to discover their own conscious and unconscious ways of looking at the world, interacting with others and creating or solving problems.
Second, each treatment is tailored to the individual. That’s the improvisational part. And this is important for the outcomes of therapy. The therapist looks for strategies which will help each client work toward uncovering their attitudes, feelings, and the patterns which influence their daily interactions and behaviors. Similar to the ghosts in the nursery which affect our parenting, the patterns we learn as children affect our adult lives. Once we discover the ways they influence us, we are freer to make new choices and to create more successful outcomes at work, at home and with the people we care about.
So how do we know it really works? New reports like the one recently released by Jonathan Schedler, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, show that talk therapy actually changes the brain and those transformations can affect both emotional state and future behavior. Scientific American quoted Schedler’s paper, stating that talk therapy was shown to be effective for
…depression, anxiety, panic disorder… eating disorders, substance disorders and personality disorders
Talking helps us discover the patterns which contribute to stress, anxiety and conflict.. If you would like to know more about talk therapy and find out if it can help, contact us.