What is therapy?

The answer to this depends on who you ask as it has so many different answers.

My answer is this.

Therapy has two main themes exploration and difficulties.


Therapy is a place where you can explore how you live.  This means to make sense of the things that confuse you, or trouble you, be they events, relationships or behaviours.

The exploration can be done by:

  • allowing the subtler\vaguer parts of you to have a voice.
  • exploring how you understand the world: your assumptions and perspectives, and how you understand yourself:  your rules for living, patterns of behaviours and values
  • giving some time to explore the complexity of your experience
  • allowing you space to feel more of your emotions or experience
  • experiencing different ways of relationship with yourself or your therapist

The outcome of exploration can be a greater understanding of yourself, your values, and what’s important to you. This in turn can lead to greater vitality in living your life. It can also lead to something moving in you, and you finding fresher air.


Therapy is a place where you can look at areas in your life where you have difficulties, maybe where you have problems or feel stuck. To do this this then we would standardly.

Make sense of the difficulty:

Make sense of its context, maybe what happens before, during and after it?

Understand what’s the good intention involved in your difficulty (as maybe there are better ways to deal with it than the current approach)

Look at what maintains the difficulty.

Then we might think about what wants to change

Your reaction to the difficulty

Or the difficulty itself

Or the meanings of the difficulty: sometimes just fully describing the difficulty change happens, and what was frozen, unfreezes.

Establish what would and how to help with the difficulty.

Find techniques to help.

Establish how best to use those techniques.

Notice and manage the effects of the change: given our internal and external complexity, a change can have many effects!

Within all this though,  the most significant question in therapy, is what  do you want? The answer to this might change from session to session.