What Is Psychotherapy and Why You Should Try It – Free Ebook

so today is a little bit of an unusual film because we’re not just a YouTube channel we’re also a real-life physical place in London this is the School of Life I’m Alain de Botton I’m the creator of the channel and I’m also the voice behind the channel and what we’re going to be doing today is meeting some of the people who work at the School of Life in one person in particular so just come with me and we’re going to go into our first variety of things so products that we make ourselves got books cards bags do people come in here with our top news to people they do yes we get a variety of things as well so we have a lot of people coming in into making of dice so cool you’re making something about relationships you’re making all sorts of green stuff anyway we’re here to meet a very special person we’re gonna meet the head of psychotherapy at School of Life who’s called Charlotte Fox Webber let’s go so I’m incredibly pleased to have finally tracked down one of the most important people at the School of Life who’s called charlotte fox weather and she heads up the psyctherapy division and she’s incredibly busy she’s overseeing a team that seed people from all over the world who have psychotherapy so look there’s so many things that I want to ask you because therapy is this thing that we’ve got lots of fantasies about fears about most of us don’t even know what it is so I’m just gonna ask some really basic questions what is the point of having therapy I think that psychotherapy helps you have insight about your life that’s very broad answer but it gives you a sense of yourself and others and almost anyone can benefit at a certain point in life to find out more to understand more how can you just sort of talk to a stranger about such private things I mean isn’t it normal to say look I don’t know you very well why would I ever tell you anything that you know some of my best friends wouldn’t know because unfortunately we can’t always tell our best friends every dark ugly part of ourselves so I can talk about the things that are important to me and then you’ll respond you’re there for me absolutely and it’s really up to you to decide where you want to go so people can go at different paces and it’s customized every therapeutic relationship is going to be different in that sense some people come to talk about a work issue some people come to talk about a mother-in-law and how long am I gonna have to do therapy focuses it’s relatively expensive let’s not you know kid ourselves um how long might I need therapy for me could it be the beginning of like a 20 year process and lots and lots of money every week how much of my uniform again there is freewill in the setup and I think that’s always a really essential point that you’re not gonna be forced into something you absolutely don’t want to do so you could decide that you want a handful of sessions you could say that you want to work on a specific issue and you would like to work for three months you could also say that you’re not sure and you and your therapist might decide to allow it to be open-ended and what is special about the school of life psychotherapy division because there’s lots of people all over the world offering psychotherapy why would you go to the School of Life why are you go to see you and your team you’ve got a lot of people what’s special about them well if life allows for a kind of open-mindedness it is about psychotherapy but it’s also about how psychotherapy can improve your life and I think that that’s an essential integration I think a lot of psychotherapists are are just was somewhat removed from the rest of existence and the School of Life brings it into art brings it into culture brings it into society and it’s very very relatable and I think everyone on the team has that kind of philosophy of being real people as well as being professionals it’s funny you mention really because therapists do have a reputation for being quite weird I guess so it’s it’s a it’s a sort of profession where you expect some weirdos are you weird how are you weird are you weird I think that I am weird in a somewhat relatable normal life weird weird yeah okay but but you know what I mean about it there of course what is it about them that I said little heavy we’re incredibly awkward one thing and I think that also it starts with the word psycho the rapist yeah I I think that we end up being so rigidly bound read that we can be somewhat austere and that’s that’s a problem it goes back to Freud in the blank screen even though Freud himself had quite a kind of right patient screaming what’s that tabula rasa is the concept of just being completely neutral that where the analyst doesn’t speak to free up so you’re supposed and you you become quite elusive and strange right and therapists historically are not supposed to disclose anything about themselves because that’s what was supposed to set it apart from any other social relationship so you know your friends but your therapist yeah they’re like a mirror you don’t necessarily know if your therapist has children is married what their story but you let out a little bit of that so at the School of Life we actually have a somewhat personal touch so tell me about if I had such therapy what might I expect with what kind of progress might I expect in relation to certain problems let’s imagine that I don’t know I had panic attacks you know I was prone to panic attacks and I went to therapy what might happen over you know some treatment we would look at the genesis of your panic attacks we would try to find out why you were having these panic attacks what it was about where the anxiety begins and what kind of situations bring it on and there would be coping mechanisms that you could begin to apply immediately and I think that’s a very treatable issue is everything treatable a lot of things ultimately it all ends in death but I think oh that’s cheerful I think that’s very consoling actually so it’s treatable in the sense that we can live with difficulties and things can absolutely improve I think relationships can improve I think that’s always a kind of so let’s imagine I came to China and I was in a relationship and there was a lot of squabbling and low-level sarcasm and you know maybe sex wasn’t so good it said – what what would you do with me if that was the presenting problem I would want to understand what drew you to that person in the first place what the relationship was like at the best of times I also and this will sound kind of dark but I always want to find out what you’re like it your very worst right Wow what kind of what I would say and again that probably sets it apart from any other relationship where you try to show your best self to your friends not that it always goes that way but in a way in therapy you you can show your worst self and you can survive it and I think that in itself is quite encouraging and what about if I had a really hard time meeting anyone if I came to you and I said you know I just can’t find anyone I can’t start a relationship I can’t make anything well what might you how might we go with that I would wonder why your self-esteem was so low and I would see it as a sign of view under estimating your worth if you think that you’re not you’re not appealing enough to find someone is it natural that anyone could appeal to anyone else or someone else I think relationships are are possible for everyone it that doesn’t mean it has to be a prosaic format of a man and woman together by any means I think that relationships can can take so many forms but it’s possible to be in a relationship for absolutely anyone and that often starts with a therapeutic relationship for people who feel intensely lonely what so with a therapist you you start to make a friend it’s not a friendship but it is a relationship and it’s bound read relationship but it’s still it’s still very real and it’s still a kind of experience of relating to another human being so in that sense in a way therapy is like a laboratory for testing out ways of operating in the world you can then take a lot of those skills from the therapy setting into your life what about if you’re feeling lost in your career you you know you feel like I don’t know you know you haven’t found your path again most people go through that if they’re if they’re really alert to those kind of struggles it’s it’s very normal to have those kind of challenging thoughts about what you’re doing with your life and we don’t have enough help with that what about parents right because many of us is struggling with the legacy of pre challenging parents in one way or another maybe they loved us too much and didn’t leave us any kind of oxygen to make our own mistakes or maybe they loved us not enough and left us feeling inadequate or whatever tell me about some of the stories that you’ve lived through in therapy with you know around the whole business of parents this is where so many people will say I don’t want to have to do that thing of talking about my parents it doesn’t all go back and actually it’s not that you have to repeat how you were brought up yeah but inevitably the relationship you have with your parents is the first kind of template for how you relate to other human beings and it’s gonna have an impact it has less of an impact if you’re aware of it if you if you become conscious of how your parents influence you then you are free to make your own decisions in relationships I think if you if you had a mother who made you feel horrible about yourself it’s going to have an influence if you just carry on picking women who make you feel horrible about yourself or you try to do the same thing often people try to repair their earlier relationships through their adult relationships so what do people do when they’ve been inadequately parented what kind of things what kind of tracks they fall into often people will have difficulty committing or they will overly idealize and get overly attached very quickly they will be looking for some kind of perfect solution to solve the problem of not feeling loved enough by a parent or they will try to find some fantasy of what a relationship should look like and it turns out not to be reality are you a believer that people can turn their lives around that the huge transformation is possible absolutely and not just a believer because I have some kind of abstract faith but because I see it all the time so what have you seen tell me tell me some stories where people have come in you know in one kind of form and then you manage to do some work and it being changed obviously not not naming names but what what kind of stories have you seen I I have found that people who have psychosexual issues a terrible term because psychosexual just sounds awful but most people have psychosexual struggles at one time or another it could just be little dips it could be it could be a full-on issue like vaginismus which is a terrible term but a very real thing where sex isn’t possible and that’s that’s an issue where I have seen so much improvement so a woman who came to me who had been married for ten years who had never consummated her marriage and through our work together she was able to then go on to have children and she had felt so intensely isolated so ashamed so alone so hopeless and by her problem that she didn’t even know where to go or how to get help and often when people are really struggling with sexual problems they are so so isolated dealing with it that they they don’t necessarily know that it’s possible for things to be better so if I’m interested in therapy what do I do next I call up the School of Life and I come to meet you or what I mean are you gonna be the person that I would see if you’re interested then we recommend that you book a consultation session which you can do online and we can offer you at an initial session where you’re not going to be obligated to have some endless course of therapy sessions but you can have a 15-minute conversation and find out what it’s all about and then what happens there that goes well and you want more what what happens then so when you have that initial session you will see what it’s like to be in the room with one of the therapists from our team and that could also be online so we see people around the world literally what you fire up Skype and then there you are we use Skype we also use oome which can have a real connection and more reliable and we we work with people around the world and literally what kind of places in Saudi Arabia in America in Australia in twin and I does not really work I mean to you you’re talking to you on camera and then it works incredibly I mean in a way and this may sound a little bit grandiose it’s psychotherapy Without Borders and there’s an incredible connection that’s possible that transcends geography very often one of the things that holds us back from going to therapy is the sense that you don’t have enough time that even the commute to get to your therapist would be too long or you end up settling on having a psychotherapist who doesn’t quite get you because that therapist is nearby and you’ve got a lot of therapists working with you in the team what happens if you like one therapist or don’t like one Terezin you want another one is it okay can I is the customer kind of they can choose how does that work I think it’s always essential to have an alliance with your therapist the thing I recommend most is that you have some personal connection that doesn’t mean that you have to connect magically where it goes smoothly every moment but there should be a sense that you feel understood that it’s possible to feel understood if you don’t have that rapport you can try again Charlotte it’s been so fascinating talking to you and look I guess the important thing is if any of you’ve been listening interested in therapy either our own therapy or just therapy more generally do you look a little bit a little bit closer at well we’ve got a link coming up here just click on that link that’ll take you to our therapy pages that’ll tell you more about what therapy is and if you’re tempted you may want to take it further you

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