Understanding Psychotherapy

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is not generally sought by people who are “crazy,” because these people simply blame others for all their problems and don’t accept any responsibility. Psychotherapy is generally sought by people who want to empower themselves and take response-ability for their lives and their pain as they generate the courage to “look in the mirror.”

Psychotherapy can help us look inside the “suitcases” we carry around and hopefully rearrange some of the contents, but it can’t make us put them down.  

Psychotherapy can save your life or waste your money, depending on who you talk to and how you use it.

Psychotherapy is a disciplined effort to bring to awareness the repressed feelings from the past that greatly influence our present lives. “Feelings that are buried alive, stay alive.”

Awareness can be created by a dog, a tree, a blank wall, a magazine article, your friends and almost anything or anyone else. Coherence, clarity, continuity and depth are what you should expect from psychotherapy as you explore your awareness.

The transformation of loneliness into solitude, of despair into sadness, of depression into rage or longing and confusion into truth is some of the work of psychotherapy.


Psychotherapy will help one laugh at Oedipus, who thought he was so special.

Psychotherapy is a journey with someone who is not smarter, braver or more together than you. What counts is that your therapist has the empathy to understand you and can competently perform the “art” of psychotherapy, which takes years of education, training and most importantly, his or her own personal journey in psychotherapy.

There once was a man who was enraged whenever his wife left and didn’t call or let him know she was leaving. She thought he was controlling. He thought he was right and entitled. In psychotherapy he mentioned the day his mother left in an ambulance and never returned. He was four years old, devastated and terrified for months, but he didn’t remember or know any of that until he asked his father over thirty years later. That revelation in therapy was hard and painful, but it changed a very toxic pattern in their marriage into a new understanding, empathy and healing.

For many people psychotherapy is a spiritual experience that strengthens the “self” that has been dreadfully dispirited by all the heavy luggage we carry in the conscious and non-conscious parts of our minds. This process can free and empower us to experience the vulnerability of relationship with others that I believe God intended, but life so often weakens. Indeed, the “Truth sets us Free!”