Benefits of Psychotherapy

The benefits of therapy are best expressed by people who have experienced them. Here is an assortment of responses from people who were asked: What were the benefits of your experience with psychotherapy?

I remember feeling lighter after each session. I would be anxious going into the room. Or sometimes I would think I had nothing to talk about. But I would come out calm and thinking about many things more clearly. I used to make a lot of impulsive decisions and they often ended up not being good for me. I learned to observe what I was doing to myself. I’m totally glad I was in therapy.

Therapy feels good. It is generally the only time, space, and permission I have to focus only on myself.

I’ve dealt with depression since I was about 12. I’ve been on a bunch of different medications and seen a few therapists in college. I really appreciate how Daniel worked with me. He went more than the extra mile. He went many extra miles.

I went for therapy after a long time of being scared to go. I think I was scared I might end up hating my parents, especially my mother. But now I really understand them so much better. I guess I changed too. We get along and I swear I never thought that would happen.

Well, I just laid it all out there – the good the bad and the ugly. There's a lot of messy shit in my life, and I never let it out before. I wasn't so sure if therapy would have much benefit for me – I don't come from that type of background. But I made the right decision to do it no matter what anybody says.

My therapy changed my life by giving me a place to explore my inner conflicts with an outstanding therapist. Together, we talked about what was troubling me and we worked on arriving at solutions. In a warm and supportive environment I have been able to grow emotionally and I am a happier man as a result.

I wanted therapy to benefit me by helping me decide if G. was the one I should marry. I decided yes, and it's great!

The benefits of therapy are very big for me but hard to explain without getting into specifics. One thing is that I stopped doing weed so much. It's not that I'm against weed. But I was doing it for bad reasons. Most of those reasons got cleared up or just went away. And right after I stopped therapy, I met a great guy.

Therapy restarted my life, opened it, clarified it, improved it, and probably saved it.

Sometimes I feel like my emotions move faster than my mind. I find myself reacting physically to these emotions before I am even aware of what I am feeling. Therapy has allowed me the space to bring these pieces of myself into unison, and tools to make sense of the way that I experience the world, so that I am less often overwhelmed by it.

Before therapy I had a hard time owning up to my own strengths. It’s like that Marianne Williamson quote: “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” I was keeping myself closed off from the parts of me that I wanted to develop. Being able to change this was one of the huge benefits of therapy, along with other factors I took advantage of partly because of being in therapy. Thanks!

A gifted therapist can hold the space, by what seems to me, their full presence and deep listening. With that open ear and open heart holding the space for my own hearing and my own compassion it becomes safe to travel to meet hidden parts of myself. For me therapy hasn't been about banishing the dark, or ridding myself of the dark, or controlling the dark, but rather including and welcoming and integrating the dark so that I can live with the authentic wholeness of myself.

I've had depression since I was a teenager. Suffice it to say, it's been a long time. It's pretty biological with me – that's clear. Pills have helped but are not dependable. I'm probably sitting here now writing this because of psychotherapy. Who knows what would have happened without it?

In therapy I spent many sessions crying. Sometimes I even felt bad for my therapist for listening to me through all that! Then the tears just didn't come anymore. I guess it was done. It was a huge thing.

Benefits of therapy? I think I was in therapy at the perfect time in my life, when I was getting more mature in lots of ways, and it became part of my natural growth. It can be amazingly helpful to have someone who doesn’t have an axe to grind, who doesn’t want you to do something for THEIR sake. My therapist wanted to help me grow and change however I felt was best for ME—not according to some preconceived idea of what I SHOULD be. It’s totally different from family or friends or a boss or anything.

Several benefits: relief from almost ever-present anxiety, and with that, greater "range of motion" in my life. What helped most with this part especially was a relationship in which I felt honestly and deeply understood and through which I could understand myself. Second, much greater awareness, as if someone turned on more lights in the room. Third, some magical moments and experiences I wouldn't trade -- the world should, I think, occasionally feel numinous. Adding it all up: a sense of wholeness, which I believe is the soul and goal of therapy.

Perhaps the best description of therapy’s benefits is that people become more mature through psychotherapy.

You can learn to be more honest with yourself. You become less defensive. You become more empathic with other people. You therefore see other people more clearly, because your vision is less clouded by your own needs and insecurities. So you can get along better with others. You enhance your capacity for intimacy. You get better at solving your own problems. You see that old habits and patterns are not the only options. You learn to manage your emotions, and to be more able to recover yourself when you do lose control over them. You deepen your sense of humor about yourself, and maybe about the world. You take a good look at your own values and see how much your life is in or out of sync with them. Hopefully, new feelings of freedom open up. Self-acceptance grows, maybe because you like yourself more. These are some of the many benefits of psychotherapy that people experience. And these changes allow for new possibilities in relationships, in work settings, in solitude, and in a capacity for pleasure.