How do you choose among hundreds of available therapies-offered by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors-to help you conquer painful feelings, unbearable anxiety, dysfunctional relationships, or out-of-control behavior What are the sessions like How will you know if your therapy is working and when it is time to stop Veteran medical journalist Carl Sherman gives you the tools to make smart decisions about getting professional help.
Got therapy If not, or even if you do but are unsatisfied with it, How to Go to Therapy might come in handy. Carl Sherman (Stress Remedies), a mental health reporter, walks readers through the process of deciding if they want to pursue therapy, choosing an appropriate type of therapy and then choosing a specific therapist. From psychodynamic therapy to pharmacotherapy to eye movement desensitization and retraining, Sherman breaks down this potentially intimidating but increasingly relevant aspect of modern life. Readers new to the therapeutic world as well as those in one kind of therapy who want to try another will appreciate Sherman's guidance.( Nov. 13) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from How to Go to Therapy by Carl Sherman
DO YOU NEED THERAPY
Things aren't going well. You leave for work with a sense of dread and come home half-dead with fatigue. You fight incessantly with those you love-or can't find anyone to love. The toll of smoking or excessive drinking is obvious, even to you, but you keep on doing it.
Maybe something happened to knock you off balance. You lost your job a month ago, and now it's hard to get up and get dressed. A friend is terminally ill, and you can't put thoughts of him out of your mind. Since that emergency landing at O'Hare, every business trip gives you nightmares.
Or there's nothing really wrong, nothing you can put a finger on. But one day you realize that you've been struggling through the motions in a miasma of low-level discomfort and dissatisfaction. Whatever you do doesn't seem like the right thing, and none of it gives much pleasure.
What are you going to do There's no shortage of books to tell you how to heal whatever ails you, no lack of talk-show gurus with wise advice on everything from beating the blues to finding lasting love or the job of your dreams. Maybe you've assembled your own little arsenal of strategies that help when the burdens get heavy and the skies refuse to brighten: taking a long, strenuous walk, a hot bath, a vacation. Volunteering at a soup kitchen. Cultivating your garden.
Friends and family are an age-old source of solace in times of trouble. Human beings are essentially social creatures; we need each other, and a sympathetic ear, an encouraging word can work wonders. It's been shown that simply having a confidant-someone you can trust to listen and care-reduces stress, eases anxiety, and lifts mood.
But sometimes the usual fixes just don't work; you know you've got a problem, and it's not about to go away. And the question comes up, moves up rapidly from the back of your mind (or perhaps it's suggested-diplomatically or otherwise-by a friend or loved one): should you go for therapy
What Is Psychotherapy
We all know what therapy is-until we try to pin it down, and realize how many very different things have come to carry the label. "Therapy" can last six weeks or six years. It may involve two people-you and the therapist-or your whole family, or even a group of strangers. You may talk about today's crisis or last night's dreams, or events you can scarcely remember. You may be encouraged to keep a diary of your thoughts, or to free-associate. To pound pillows or to take pills.