Does Talking help?

Can talking with a therapist really help?
Many people underestimate the power of communicating their ideas and feelings to another person

Counselling utilises the power of talking and communicating feelings.With text messaging, online networking and emailing so effective, talking to another person may seem old-fashioned. These days, communication is brief and electronic. A quick text message or a short email is usually enough to get our message across.

But humans have been talking to each other for a long time. Our minds are programmed to be social and the need to communicate with each other is powerful. Talking is a way of relating to another person.

We know more about the brain than ever before and developments in neuroscience have shown the important links between communication, language acquisition and emotional development. The truth is that humans need to talk. Thoughts and feelings stored inside and left unexpressed can leave us emotionally or psychologically overwhelmed.

Language, it seems, has evolved for many reasons.

Most of us talk all the time but sometimes talking isn’t so easy

Talking about things that really matter may be difficult and sometimes the hardest thing about feelings is sharing them with other people. We often confine our most significant emotions to our internal world. These thoughts or feelings are very alive within us but we may never feel confident to share them with friends and family. They remain inside us, and sometimes take on a life of their own.

We often feel afraid of being judged for our thoughts, hopes or feelings and this makes sharing these parts of ourselves difficult.

Talking is good for you

A catharsis is defined as the expression or discharge of repressed emotions and ideas. Putting emotions and thoughts into words can relieve emotional unease and untangle complex feelings and ideas. Getting problematic emotions out of ourselves allows us to focus on our feelings from a distance and helps us maintain good mental health.

Talking in therapy helps alleviate emotional and psychological problemsTalking can also help resolve problems. Through talking, feelings get expressed, we gain more clarity in our thoughts and solutions will often surface. In talking with another person, new perspectives often come to light and new perspectives can make old issues feel very different.

The way a person feels inside is important. Being able to communicate what’s inside through spoken words is essential for emotional and psychological well-being. Over time, unexpressed thoughts and feelings can lead to depression, anxiety, shame, relationship problems, self-harm, self-worth issues and many other forms of distress.

But why should I talk to a counsellor or psychotherapist?

Talking with anyone can be useful and sharing thoughts and emotions with friends, colleagues or family members is a great way to connect with other people and feel supported. We all need to feel safe, understood and supported from time to time.

And turning to someone for help is not a new concept! Though contemporary counselling and psychotherapy has been around in its current form for only about a century, people have been using the power of talking throughout history. In the past, religious leaders, spiritual leaders, physicians, social workers and village elders were the authority figures people often turned to for help and support.

A counselling session with our counsellors in LondonA modern-day therapist is not a friend or a family member, but someone who builds a healthy, professional relationship with their clients through trust and openness. A therapist is trained to remain outside a situation and to facilitate communication in a way that helps encourage self-awareness and self-development.

And therapists are not judgemental. Though every person’s story is unique, an experienced therapist will have likely ‘heard it all before’.
A good therapist will understand how complicated life can be and how emotional and psychological forces can dominate someone’s life.

Counsellors and psychotherapists are trained to talk, listen, explore and support. For the benefit of their clients, that’s just what they do.

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