Psychotherapy - an essential step for emotional health

Some people begin therapy with a series of questions, ideas to share, memories to unpack, problems to solve, or a list of goals to achieve. However, most people don't even know where to start or what to expect from psychotherapy. The good thing is that there is no list of conditions to meet for your first session - just come as you are.

For those who are considering seeking the help of a psychotherapist, I will try to explain the basics of the therapeutic process, how psychotherapy can help you and how useful it is in different areas of life.

How is the therapy?

Therapy looks different for every client, for every therapist, for every type of therapy, and for every situation. Even between the same therapist and client, therapy sessions look different from week to week.

In general, therapy is a time dedicated to you and only you, where you will clarify many things about yourself and learn how to build a life worth living to the fullest.

What will we talk about?

This is for you to decide and your therapist will support you. You can talk about the problems or needs you have in the present, about the traumas of the past, but you can also talk about the future, about your aspirations and plans. Your therapist is a sounding board, someone who will listen carefully to what you say and help you find meaning that you may never have considered. It will also give you a different perspective to look at things from.

In therapy, you will learn a lot about yourself. You will also learn new tools and strategies to use in times of distress, conflict, or even moments of peace. Therapy can be difficult and there are bound to be sessions that leave you feeling frustrated or sad. But there will also be many sessions that help you feel whole, fulfilled and happy.

When should I consult a psychologist?

There is no "right" time to see a psychotherapist. Sometimes the need for therapy arises as a reaction to a negative experience, such as after a breakup, accident, or major life transition. Other people decide to start therapy because they feel stuck in their everyday lives or because the monotony of their daily routines is unfulfilling or makes them feel unhappy. There are also people who want to work with a therapist because of pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses, to prevent deterioration of their mental health, or even to improve their mood and learn how to better manage stress and relationships with those around them . People also consult therapists to learn how to help and support their friends or family members who are dealing with mental health issues.


When your daily life is a constant struggle, including at work or in relationships, starting therapy becomes a priority. Situations where psychological intervention is essential may include substance abuse (alcohol, drugs), serious mental disorders (depression, anxiety, borderline disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia), aggressive tendencies, anger management, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts. Those in crisis may find psychotherapy extremely helpful as a safe space to process strong or dangerous thoughts and emotions.

How does therapy usually begin?

When you start working with a therapist, the first few sessions are generally used to get to know you. The therapist will ask a series of questions about your past, which may include:

Where you grew up

Who is part of your family?

Family members' mental health history

Your educational background

Your professional background

Relationships and sex life

Your religious beliefs

Drug or alcohol use

Your social support network and how often you connect with it

The therapist will also ask you why you want to start therapy and what your goals and expectations are for the therapeutic relationship. Afterward, sessions can begin by reviewing ideas or concepts touched on in the previous session, exploring the week's events, or checking in on progress toward your goals.

Should I go to therapy when things are going well?

Yes, you should go to therapy even when things are going well! While many people see therapy as a way to feel better when things are going wrong and experiencing problems, there is an advantage to working with a therapist when you are comfortable and happy as well.

Our lives are not linear, but marked by periods of regression, stagnation or progress. When things are going well for you, therapy gives you the opportunity to reflect on what got you to this point. A good therapist can help you develop your strengths and values, as well as practice gratitude, empathy, and self-compassion.

How long does the therapy last? 

The duration of the therapeutic process varies depending on the problem addressed, the difficulties you face and the type of therapy. Factors that influence how long therapy takes to be effective include:

The reason you started therapy

What type of therapy are you doing?

Your motivation for engaging in therapeutic work, including doing homework

Your openness to the therapeutic process

Your therapist's style

Frequency of psychotherapy sessions

Procedure (telephone, online, face to face)

For clients who are going through complex trauma, results may be slower to appear and therapy may be longer than for clients who want to improve their communication skills. There are some therapy modalities that only take a few weeks to achieve specific goals, while other therapy modalities require months and even years to achieve the desired results.

Those looking to experience the effects of short-term therapy can set realistic goals for that time period with the psychologist.

What should a therapist not do?

There are many things therapists should not do, including discriminating against or making clients feel uncomfortable based on their gender identity, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or criminal history. Not only is discrimination or disrespect counterproductive to the client's mental health, it is also extremely unprofessional and can be grounds for revoking the therapist's license.

When a therapist stops listening to a client or becomes judgmental or critical, he loses the client's trust. Without a trusting relationship, clients may be less engaged, defensive, and less likely to express themselves freely and honestly—two vital components of any form of effective therapy.

Therapists make mistakes—but an important part of their training is to own those mistakes and allow clients to provide feedback on satisfaction. If you disagree with something your therapist says, or if something makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. You will learn more about yourself this way, including communicating assertively and fighting for your right to be understood correctly and get the support you need.

How often should I go to therapy?

How often you attend therapy depends on several factors, including why you started therapy, the type of therapy, your budget, and availability. Most clients attend weekly 45-50 minute therapy sessions. However, many clients are comfortable seeing their therapist once every two weeks, especially after they have been in therapy for a long time.

When deciding how often you should go to therapy, consider the urgency of your goals, the severity of the problems you face, and your priorities.

Are your mental health symptoms painful or harmful? If so, it may be in your best interest to see your therapist at least once a week—or even more often. However, if the initial goal is self-discovery, a lower frequency of sessions may be appropriate.

Therapy is a great tool to use any time of the week, however, if you're feeling stressed about being able to afford therapy, or even making the long drive across town after a day busy with work, a bimonthly frequency might make therapy sessions more comfortable.

Who is therapy for?

Therapy is for everyone who is ready to engage in self-discovery, exploring their vulnerabilities and strengths, personal development, treatment for specific conditions or for those who simply need support to make a change in life . Anyone can benefit from therapy, although it's important to be ready and willing to work with your therapist, especially knowing that some sessions can be difficult. Oricine poate beneficia de terapie, deși este important să fii pregătit și dispus să lucrezi cu terapeutul tău, mai ales știind că unele ședințe  pot fi dificile.

Therapy can change your life. It not only changes the lives of those who are going through difficult times, but also the lives of people who are generally satisfied with their lives, but want something more. Therapy is for children and parents, teenagers, adults and the elderly. It is for people whose routines have remained the same for years, as well as for people who have just moved from home to other countries, for those who have lost a loved one, started a new career or ended a long-term relationship long. Therapy is for curious and open-minded people. But it's also for people who suffer and are afraid to talk about that pain. Therapy is for perfectionists, for those who don't know exactly what they lack to be happy, but also for those who know exactly what they want from life. It is also for people who are at a crossroads, not sure which way to go, and for those who want to learn more about the meaning of life. There are so many reasons to work with a therapist, some of them might even surprise you!

If you think therapy is for you, find a psychotherapist with whom you are compatible and begin the true journey to yourself!

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