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Therapy. Are we becoming too dependent on it

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Steb | 17:02 Sun 08th Jan 2006 | Body & Soul
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I read today in the Observer that one in five Britons is undergoing, or has undergone therapy. It's a multi-million pound industry and some people question its validity.

I've just started pyscho-therapy for a general anxiety order - and to be honest, although my partner says I appear more relaxed, inside I'm not sure if it's having that much an affect on me and my problems.

I just wondered what other people's experiences and opinions are on this. Am I wasting my time (and money) or should I bide my time and wait to see the benefits?



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Never believe what the papers say.

My sister-in-law has been in and out of therapy for about the last two years and still finds the need to go back for more! I don't know whether it's the 'therapy' that counts or just the fact that you are having the chance to talk about what you want to and you don't feel judged (and you have the upper hand as you are paying for it, so if you don't like their advice, you don't have to go back!) I have had my fair share of problems over the years, but then again who hasn't! I have been very lucky to have a good set of friends, who for the price af a bottle of wine, are willing to listen(?) when I want to bare my soul! If the therapy is the only place that you feel that you can talk, then it's worth every penny, but would it not be cheaper and perhaps more fun to have a mates night in and see if there is anyone worse off than you?

Psychotherapy is a long term intervention - compared to Counselling which if often a briefer therapy lasting around 6 weeks.

Not sure where you're accessing this therapy from, but it may be worth having a chat with your GP - as there might be counselling available on the NHS/Primary care for free.

As with any kind of therapy you pay for, there are good practitioners and bad. If you feel that your practitioner is not helping you, or simply taking your cash - look elsewhere. But it amazing how psychotherapy/counselling can help people.

The benefits might just be around the corner.

I spent nearly all of last year in therapy for an eating disorder. I had it once a week for ten weeks, then a break and so on, it was on the NHS. It is a long drawn out process, and I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it, because I spent most of the time in tears!!

I really do feel that it has helped me with many issues, self esteem, anxiety. It doesn't give you answers as such, just lets you spot the wood through the trees if you like. It's Blo*dy hard work!!! and at times I hated it.

So overall I am a fan of therapy, but it's not something to be taken lightly, and if you can afford to I would persevere, but I'd say tell yourself that you're going to do it for say 4-6 months and then see how you feel. Simply from my experience, I don't think you can turn anything around in 6 weeks. Or as kovac says try the doc. Good luck x

I wish somebody would comment on Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT. Psychotherapists who use this swear by it and say it is a short term therapy and produces in most cases very good results.Doctor Burns in his book Feeling Good say that is very good for anxiety and depression.Any comments on this would be much appreciated and may be helpful to Steb

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a very valid form of therapy - and particularly good for treating people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and addictions etc.

One critisism however is that whilst it addresses the presenting problem, be is anxiety, drink problem or OCD, it does not always manage to deal with the issue that is causing the unwanted behaviour/feelings.

Personally, I'm a fan of Gestalt Therapy - as it takes an integrative approach and can be adapted to the needs of the client.

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