Psychotherapy - For what and for whom is it for anyway?

 

Ever since I was a young psychology student, I kept on running into this issue and formulated it in a variety of ways in my head,  not always in the most convenient situations, with different emotional tones, from the purest curiosity, even to the most fierce irony and aggression.

 

When I was Counselor of the CRP 06 (Conselho Regional de Psicologia, 6a regiāo), the body that 

directs, supervises and takes care of the regulation and ethics of Psychology as a profession in Brazil, I participated in a project that aimed to "popularize" psychology, the event was called "Psyche - Four Approaches in Psychotherapy" .

 

Scholars  were invited to lecture explaining to the population what psychotherapy really was. This 

event was a great success, and gave rise to a book of the same name. Hundreds of people attended the event, which took place at the Centro Cultural Vergueiro, which opened its doors for the CRP to hold an event in the quite dashing time (I'm referring to 1990/1991 ), enabling it to be free and open to anyone who was interested.

 

Since then, every day I am faced with matters concerning whether or not people should seek psychological help, in various magazines, newspapers and electronic media. It has never been so easy to find a high quality of information, but even so, the question seems to linger, after all, for what and for whom is psycotherapy for?

 

My answer is: for anyone who wants it!

 

No matter the degree of suffering or distress, wheather they are undecided or depressed, anxious or apathetic. If your life does not satisfy you for any reason, if you want to be more creative, wheather you believe that the lives of others are more interesting than yours, or not ... No matter the reason, psychotherapy will help you expand your vision of the world and about yourself.

 

Imagine that your house has a few windows, you look at the world through them, but the house 

also has walls that protect you from the outside world, from the variation of weather and temperature, but it also isolates you from possible landscapes.

 

Imagine that your worldview is like this: you see the world through these windows, from which you always seems to stare at the same perspective. Now imagine if you could change the location of some of these windows and walls, shall we? This is the psychotherapeutic process: an extension of the worldview and of ourselves, an acknowledgment of what can or can not be changed, after all, we can not open windows on every wall of a house, we have to respect their structure, but we can move out of the house, walk through the gardens and walkways, seeking not only the vision of every detail, but 

also the whole vision.

 

Our mind is like a house, we need to take care of every internal detail, but we also need to take 

care of the structural support, the pillars, and at the same time have a vision of the whole, the

strengths, the weaknesses, what maintenance and renovation can the structure handle?
 

It is always possible to feel more comfortable  with ourselves and  others, to make more conscious choices, to evaluate more options and details of the circumstances, or even to face that some decisions in your life were an emergency or circumstantial, and that we should follow ahead and try to take advantage of the situations that life has offered us, to try to understand and separate what was possible, avoid what was avoidable.

 

We can not always choose our destiny, but we can choose how we deal with it, if we cannot, if we 

are victims of fate or other people, perhaps the reform needs to be urgent. Freud said that if my action is not according to my will, that is a sign of neurosis. Jung said that until the unconsciousness becomes consciousness it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

 

Now I  ask: Who runs your life and who makes your choices? Are you guided by sorrows, frustrations, anxieties, under or overestimation of yourself, the situations or others? Or do you consider your entire being, able to harmonize the view of the world with the vision of yourself when deciding your own path? 

 

I have only one warning to make: after starting the psychotherapeutic process there is no return, once you learn how to look at life a broader perspective, you will never be satisfied with the world view provided by a single small window!

 

Solange Bertolotto Schneider

 

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