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Life constantly presents us with new challenges, some are difficult to understand, manage and overcome. Here we look at talk therapy and how it can help. Lavendla's therapists and coaches are here to guide and support you.

How talk therapy works

In talk therapy, a client and therapist work together to help bring the client’s life back into balance. In therapy, the client can review the feelings, thoughts and other factors that are affecting their life. Common topics that need to be addressed may include loss, worry, anxiety, stress, grief, exhaustion, or trauma of any kind.

There are no stupid questions and there are no topics off-limits for discussion in talk therapy. It is up to the client to decide what they need support with. The role of the therapist, on the other hand, is to listen, understand, and ask questions to increase understanding. Thoughts and feelings the client has may originate from something other than what the client believes.

The goal of talk therapy is for the client to gain a better understanding of their well-being and get the tools needed to manage problems on their own. Having an outsider to talk to about difficult things has a positive effect, on the client and on the people around them. Many clients testify that talk therapy has a good effect on their relationships with other people.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

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14 common questions about talk therapy

What is talk therapy and what are its main goals?

Talk therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which the client talks with a professional therapist to explore and understand their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. Talk therapy aims to promote self-awareness, change and increased well-being.

What types of problems or challenges can talk therapy help with?

Talk therapy can be beneficial for a variety of problems and challenges, including anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, confidence issues, trauma, grief, and stress management, among others.

How long does a typical talk therapy process take?

The duration of the process varies depending on the client’s needs and goals. Some clients may feel improvements after a few sessions, while others prefer to work longer to explore their issues more deeply.

What can I expect during a talk therapy session?

During a talk therapy session, you will have the opportunity to talk openly about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The therapist will listen actively, ask questions, and offer reflections to help you understand yourself better. The therapist will create a safe and confidential environment for you to explore your feelings.

Can talk therapy help me if I don’t have any specific problems but feel generally depressed or stressed?

Talk therapy can help boost your well-being and help you manage stress and feelings of depression, even if you don’t have specific problems.

Can I expect my therapist to give me advice and solutions to my problems?

In talk therapy, the therapist’s main role is to listen, support and help you explore your own thoughts and feelings. The therapist can offer perspectives and insights, but you will be involved in finding your own solutions.

Is it common to feel emotional or exhausted after a therapy session?

It is common to feel emotional or tired after a therapy session. Exploring sensitive topics can be quite intense. It is important to give yourself time to process these feelings afterward. It is not unusual to need to rest after a session.

What if I feel dissatisfied with my therapist or feel that the therapy is not working for me?

If you feel that the therapy does not suit you or that you do not have a good relationship with your therapist, it is important to be open about it. You have the right to seek another therapist who better suits your needs. Lavendla will help you find another therapist who is better suited to you.

Can I bring my partner or family member to a talk therapy session?

If you want to involve your partner or a family member in the therapy, this may be possible, especially if the relationship affects your health and well-being. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone else into a session so that the right therapist can be booked.

How long does it usually take to see changes or results from therapy?

The timeline for seeing changes varies depending on individual circumstances and goals. Some people experience rapid progress while others may take longer. The therapist will work with you to achieve your goals at your own pace.

How do I know if talk therapy is right for me?

Talk therapy can be beneficial if you feel you are having difficulty managing your emotions, if you feel your life is limited by psychological or emotional difficulties, or if you simply want to understand yourself better. An initial consultation with a therapist can help you decide if talk therapy is the right path for you.

Do you always cry with a therapist?

No, you don’t always cry during a session. However, crying can be something you do for many different reasons. It does not necessarily mean that you are sad. Some people cry out of joy or because they have been touched by a strong emotion. Some people also cry out of anger or frustration. Sometimes a therapy session can also be about enhancing joy in the client’s life. Then there may be more laughter in the room. Therapy can take place in many different ways.

The first time you seek counselling?

You may feel particularly sensitive the first time you seek help with something you have been dealing with for a long time. Here is some practical advice for your first session with us:

  • Read about the different types of therapy we offer on our website. This will give you a better understanding of how we act and think about different topics.
  • On the Lavendla website you can choose which psychologist, therapist or coach you want to meet. Profile pages give information on their background, skills, education, and customer reviews. This increases the likelihood you will choose the right person to help you.
  • The first meeting is often more about building a relationship and trust with each other rather than going straight to a solution. Remember, their job is largely to listen to you, so be open about how you think and feel. This will help us to help you.
  • Subsequent meetings focus on giving you the tools you need to deal with problems on your own. We support, guide, and ensure that the tools we have given you, work. If they don’t, we can, in consultation with you, try other approaches.
Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

3 tips on talk therapy

  1. Express your wants and needs. Something as simple as saying what you want or need can be difficult. This can be the source of your difficulty in dealing with life’s challenges, not being in touch with your own will or needs. If you struggle with this, it’s a good idea to see a talk therapist.
  2. Get to know yourself for better functioning relationships. When you get to know yourself better and understand how you function, you become much better at understanding how other people function. When you become better at understanding and clearly expressing your desires to others, your relationships typically improve. Most people who have been in therapy can testify to this.
  3. Be honest! A functioning therapy is based on the client being honest. Sometimes it is hard to be honest. It can feel shameful to tell the therapist about your ‘crazy’ thoughts or ‘sick’ feelings. It can also be difficult to be honest if you don’t have answers to some of the questions asked by the therapist. You don’t have to have an immediate answer to every question. Give yourself time to think and feel. If you feel shame, tell the therapist. That openness will allow the therapy to have the desired effect.

Written by dominic

Dominic is a Cape Town-based copywriter and editor with a background in psychology.