Does psychotherapy work? Yes. A substantial body of high-quality,peer-reviewed research clearly and definitely points to psychotherapy succeeding in its aims of reducing suffering, improving relationships, and helping people to have lives that work better.
As a psychotherapist I sometimes look around at my fellow-professions and wish I could be as certain as a tax professional, estate attorney, optometrist or urologist that the services I offer provide solutions as linear and logical as theirs.
But psychotherapy heals in the realm of relationship and feeling. Our lonely relationship with our inmost self can be given voice in the safe relationship of therapy. Then, miraculous and nonlinear transformations take place. These transformations feel much more like blessings and gifts than like solutions.
I feel privileged and lucky to be part of the changes I see clients undergoing in my practice:
- Debilitating anxiety, resisted and fought-against softening into an alertness that says ‘Yes’ to life with a powerful vividness.
- Depression – even tinged with the desperation of suicidal thoughts – gradually unfolding as the love and vitality formerly held captive by despair.
- Grief discovering itself to be connection, awaking to restoration beyond rupture and loss
- Even rage, whilst setting fierce limits reaches towards yearned-for possibilities of creation.
Does psychotherapy work? Yes. Grace-full, an artfully-skillful science yet a healing mystery, Freud’s discovery of a “talking cure” goes on providing succor, comfort, help, aid and support of an enduring and powerful kind in helping people live better lives. Research – and my daily experience – clearly says so.