Having to deal with life’s challenges can bring up difficult and strong feelings e.g. anxiety, sadness, anger or guilt. Or, we may even feel empty in a very obscure or unsatisfying way. Counselling or therapy offers you a place to explore difficulties you are having in your personal life with someone who is trained to explore and sort through those feelings. It is vital that the practitioner help create an atmosphere of trust and safety, so that you feel able to become open about who you are. This means that the therapist does not offer judgements about you or advice.
The process may help feelings become more understandable and manageable, and may help you come up with choices or changes you want to make. It may help you come to terms with things that can’t be changed.
I think that this helps because we can develop self-awareness and get in touch with the truth about who we are and what makes us tick. That then can improve our ability to have control over our lives, instead of being at the mercy of emotions that we don’t understand.
The advantage of psychotherapy is that it offers the opportunity to explore the various ways in which we relate to other people. It helps us work on the acknowledgement and expression of various things that make up the empathy that connects us with other people, things like: gratitude, forgiveness, satisfactions and dissatisfactions, hopes and fears, needs and wishes, sadness and other vulnerabilities. I think all of these things lie behind anger.
In therapy it is also important to explore the ways in which we defend ourselves against the acknowledgement and expression of any of those things.