John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

What is therapy for?

  • Therapy helps you feel better.
  • Therapy helps you understand the nuanced dynamics of relationships.
  • Therapy helps you understand yourself better (e.g., your true nature, motivations, strengths).
  • Therapy helps you grow as a person.
  • Therapy helps you alleviate symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety).
  • Therapy helps you function better.
  • Therapy helps you cope with stressful experiences.
  • Therapy helps you face your fears.
  • Therapy helps you clarify your purpose in life, or your direction.

Therapy can help you do all of these things, or some of these things, depending on your goals and your willingness to commit to the process.

What therapy is not, however, is a passive experience. Therapy requires your full participation. Therapy requires you to join forces with another human being who just happens to be a trained professional.

The general idea of therapy looks like this: Therapy –––> insight into self –––> behavior change.

The above formula makes it looks so simple. But behavior change is anything but. Why? Because human beings resist change. Human beings seek self-consistency, even when that consistency produces unwanted results. The real value of a therapist is that he or she helps you work with, and through, resistance.