Talk Therapy

Help me, Counselor…

Talking cure is a method of treating psychological disorders or emotional difficulties that involves talking to a therapist or counselor, in either individual or group sessions.talk therapy

It is quite like re-programming a computer. The outdated software that is probably loaded with virus (self-critical, negative and harmful thoughts) is replaced by a new version of positive, encouraging, future-oriented and healthy thoughts.


How does it help?
As we are brought up, most of us have learned to feel loved and/or valued only when talk/behave in a particular way. In this some of our strange desires and impulses, or so-called abnormal thoughts and perversions are curbed (for the fear that they might not find acceptance). However, considering there are both positive and negative shades in each human’s personality, both of them need acknowledgement. Within a counseling set-up one gets not only an unconditional respect, whatever the private thought process maybe like, but also methods to synchronize these thoughts with our day-to-day living. Provided these desires and impulses are not too crazy, in which case one will need more intense help, talking about them will amalgamate the various shades in one’s personality, thinking and self-esteem into a healthy whole. This leads to better self-understanding, self-acceptance and maturity.

Secondly, when friendly advice is not available, or not neutral, ‘talking cure’ can be of great help. Consider a woman in 30s going through a divorce. Her girlfriends might keep ranting on the weaknesses and negative shades of the ex-husband’s personality. The woman, rather, is confident of her decision, has already made peace with the fact of divorce, and needs more of life-management conversations. Her parents might be too shocked. The woman, now, would need to handle them also, along with shouldering the responsibilities of being a new single mother. She might be quitting her job for paucity of time, thus entering the lane of financial stress. Where and whom does she turn to? An empathic listener, who could reframe her concerns in a more positive wording. A career-guide who could provide her with some resources for landing a less time-energy consuming position. A non-judgmental friend. A safe-place for regaining a sense-of-control.

Relief from stress, doing away with isolation, getting stuff ‘off the chest’, gaining a new perspective, putting feelings into words, hope-generation, catharsis and skill-building are some additional advantages of going in for therapy.

 

Interesting link between stress and attachment

You probably have heard of the nature-nurture debate. In the last decade or so, researchers have come to better understand the field of epigenetics and below is an interesting example of this in the link between stress and attachment.rat-study

Research indicated that rats raised by mothers who groom and lick them are later better able to cope with stress than pups who were infrequently licked and groomed. What seems to happen is that the brains of well-licked baby rats have been changed.

Basically, there are receptors in the brain that mop up the stress hormone cortisol, thus reducing the effect of stress on the brain. The gene that codes for these receptors is modified by the mothers’ behaviour so that the less pampered pups ultimately have fewer cortisol receptors in their brain.

The bottom line is that the attachment behaviours of the mother appears to alter the young rats’ brains so they cope less well with stressful experience. And this also affects the way the young rats subsequently treat their own babies. Nurture modifies nature. Poor attachment experiences lead to negative effects.