In modern society, people experience distress daily from multiple sources, including work/study stressors, family conflict, health concerns and even changes to our everyday environment. This distress can affect anyone, across all ages. They can manifest in behavioral changes, such as difficulty sleeping, a loss of appetite, constant worry and a sense of worthlessness/hopelessness. Some even experience suicidal thoughts. Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy”, is a process where clients seek professional help with a psychologist to address their emotional distress and manage psychological disorders. Speaking to a professional can also help people understand their problems better and improve their quality of life.
Psychotherapy has been shown by research to be effective at helping clients of all ages overcome a range of clinical disorders, such as depression, OCD, anxiety and trauma. It has also been effective at helping people deal with stress, grief, and relationship problems. A combination of medical treatment and psychotherapy have been yielded positive research on managing many disorders.
A Singapore Mental Health Study published in 2018 showed that 1 in 7 people in Singapore experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime. The same study revealed that more than three-quarters of people did not seek professional help and suffered in silence. The main reasons for this was due to the stigma of having mental disorders and a knowledge gap in treatment options.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment that utilizes evidence-based psychological techniques to help clients identify maladaptive coping strategies and help clients feel better. It allows clients comfort and safety to openly discuss their problems without a fear of being judged. The psychologist would first seek to understand the nature of the problem, formulate with the client on factors that perpetuate the distress and seek to work out a treatment plan to help clients overcome and manage these problems. Through this process, grounded in dialogue, clients become better equipped to deal with life’s stresses and conflicts.
You are likely to benefit from psychotherapy when:
- You have low moods and feel depressed
- You often feel anxious and expect the worst to happen
- You constantly experience a strong sense of hopelessness
- Your problems do not seem to be getting better despite efforts from yourself and your friends and family.