By D. Razor Babb
The kinds of treatments available to patients in rehabilitation and recovery are numerous. Insight therapy is a form of treatment where a therapist works with a patient to help them understand how personal beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and experiences from their past impact their present state of mind.
Insight therapy is used in a variety of mental health treatments. This is because past experiences and those things we keep inside have a long-standing ripple effect. If we haven’t dealt with our past, or if our internal thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are distorted or negative, that hurts us in the present. The ultimate purpose of insight therapy is to help us improve the quality of our lives.
An Analysis of Insight Therapy
Insight therapy is a form of psychotherapy. Patients who undergo this form of treatment sit down with a therapist and talk. Discussions center on how the patient’s beliefs, emotions, and feelings impact them in the present day. To get to this point, patients have to address the underlying factors and experiences which contribute to who they are and how they feel inside.
The success of insight therapy depends upon the patient and therapist building rapport with one another. This treatment involves the patient opening up and talking about issues which may be difficult. This is where the therapist’s job guiding the patient and getting them to open up is essential.
A critical part of insight therapy is for the patient to go back to their childhood. A person’s formative years have a significant impact on the life they experience as adults. The experiences we have as young people set the precedent for adulthood. The experiences, events, and traumas we go through as children shape us and influence thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Childhood experiences impact our emotions, thoughts and beliefs as adults. For instance, a child who lacks close relationships with parents, relatives, and peers may grow up to be an adult who harbors negative views about connecting with others. We may even develop beliefs and habits which disallow normal societal interactivity, reduce our awareness of empathy, or dangerously repress anger, rage, fear, and hostility.
Adverse childhood experiences do not necessarily doom one to adulthood replete with overwhelming challenges and pain, just as an “ideal” childhood does not guarantee that we will grow into a productive and thriving adult. While specific instances vary, childhood always impacts what is to come, for better or worse. This is why going back to those formative years and examining experiences and trauma are so important.
Underlying Thoughts, Beliefs, and Emotions
You can learn a lot about a person from how they think and how they perceive various matters. During insight therapy, the patient and therapist examine reasons or experiences which have shaped thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, including trauma and triggering events. These can be numerous and overwhelming in many cases.
Understanding how our underlying thoughts, beliefs, and emotions impact present-day experiences can be very empowering. Not only does this give us clarity and help us understand our- selves, but this comprehension can be enlightening. When we understand that certain thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are hurting our lives, we can decide to make a change.
This understanding and enlightenment is the path insight therapy leads to. Working with a therapist is what helps us to not only discover the underlying experiences and internal things which impact us, but also how to make changes. This could be a change of environment, a change in our social circle, or a change in the limiting and disempowering belief systems which may be holding us back from living our best life.
The Power of Mindset
Insight therapy addresses the paramount importance of the human mindset. The mind and how we think impacts the decisions we make, how we carry ourselves, and the treatment which we accept. A person who has a positive mindset is likely to make pro-social choices. We also sur- round ourselves with others who share similar outlooks on life. Someone with a negative or self-defeating mindset is much more susceptible to making poor life choices and surrounding themselves with the wrong crowd. This is where the relationship between a patient’s childhood, mindset, and underlying thoughts, feelings, and beliefs comes full circle.
BetterHelp, an online therapy service with access to the best of mental help professionals, gives the following advice:
If you have come this far, you may be wondering whether or not working with an insight therapist would be a good decision for you.
Ultimately, this is a call only you can make. Nobody can force someone to take therapy if they’re not truly ready; however, here are some common signs which often indicate that a person could greatly benefit from insight therapy.
Struggles With Interpersonal Relationships
Ongoing struggles in relationships with friends, relatives, coworkers, and others who you interact with definitely indicate that insight therapy could prove to be helpful. It’s very important to understand that there are many reasons why someone might have trouble with different interpersonal relationships. In some cases, the reason could simply boil down to the quality of individuals who we are surrounding ourselves with. In other scenarios struggles with interpersonal relationships could come down to underlying issues of self, or something else altogether.
Issues With Self-Esteem
If you find yourself having issues with self-esteem or self-worth, then you may find in- sight therapy to be beneficial. In many scenarios, issues with self-esteem can be a series of internal issues. Sometimes issues within can be a result of childhood or repressed trauma not dealt with. Environment or other cultural or personal influences may also be a factor. You may be unaware that you are having trouble with self-worth and self-esteem, and insight therapy may change your life.
If you are someone who is struggling with depression, then insight therapy will be helpful. Underlying issues contribute to and worsen depression. Not only can insight therapy help with finding the reasons and roots of depression, but having a sounding board of someone to talk to makes a difference.
Insight therapy is helpful for people with many types of issues. If you are not facing interpersonal relationship struggles, self-esteem, or depression, insight therapy can still be advantageous. No matter where we are in life, there is always value in evaluating the past and looking at ways to improve.
Insight therapy is one of many forms of treatment. Asking for help is never anything of which to be ashamed. Many of us go through tough times and feel as though we can’t or shouldn’t seek professional help. The ability to ask for help when needed is one of the bravest things that we can do.
(Sources: RawPixel.com; Gabrielle Seunagal, “What is Insight Therapy? Definition, Purpose, and Applications,” BetterHelp, May 19, 2020)
Babb is Editor-in-Chief of the Mule Creek Post.