On a morning walk in Georgia, I often see others on a similar journey – such as two men and a group of four women. They are taking their regular ‘walk and talk’ in the hilly region of the city, in Nature. One rainy day, a woman from the group helped me when I got stuck on a ledge on the side of a slippery, muddy hill – she gave me her hand and talked me through the steps to safety.
Talk therapy – known as psychotherapy – is an approach to talk out feelings and emotions, and current stressors. Psychologists and counsellors use different forms of talk therapy, such as individual sessions, couples therapy, family therapy, and so on. The aim is generally to release issues about childhood, a current event, or a stressful time in life, where the counsellor guides the discussion to identify patterns of behaviour or of thinking, or trigger points, and for so many other reasons. It is both preventative (to reduce the frequency of issues that might arise) and diagnostic (solving an issue). It is useful to help treat a condition or as a regular ongoing approach, whether participants are seeking assistance for a specific condition or not.
There are many practitioners that provide talk theory – either face-to-face or online, short-term and long-term. Research in 2014 has shown that online therapy is as effective as face-to-face treatment for depression.
Research has shown that talk therapy with professional practitioners is effective in addressing issues. This is particularly evident with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) used for treating anxiety disorders, because CBT focuses on what we think, what we feel, and what we do.
Talking it out can be unstructured and free-flowing and not associated with ‘treatment’ at all – just talking with family and friends or even complete strangers – just talking things out to get different points of view, some guidance or support, confirmation that someone cares and is listening, or to run through scenarios and ‘what ifs’ for example.
For non-psychotherapy talking – i.e. just to talk it out with someone – try the following:
- Talk to a friend or friends, talk to family members, talk to someone whom you trust and respect.
- Talk to a doctor.
- Talk to a teacher.
- Talk to a hair dresser – to anyone you see regularly, such as a grocer, barista, etc.
- Talk to a stranger.
- Talk to an imaginary friend.
- Talk to an animal – such as a pet.
- Talk to a tree or to your house plants.
- Talk to loved ones in spirit.
There are no similarities. Talk is talk. Conversation is conversation.
Different approaches are all okay: direct conversation (getting to the point of an issue), indirect conversation (‘beating around the bush’), or rambling conversation (going with the flow). Talking about anything and nothing is all okay.
Guided talk therapy with medical or psychological practitioners (psychotherapy) can be expensive and can continue over months and years. People may not want to talk about their childhood or trigger points continuously – for some people, it just gets too uncomfortable, or alternatively, they develop a dependency on the sessions.
Some people like talking to the same person all the time, for continuity and trust, whereas others may find that if they reduce the number of people they talks to, then they are not getting different points of view on the issue.
Extroverts may find talking effective for them, but introverts may find it uncomfortable unless they find someone they trust.
Sometimes talking about an issue makes it worse. It depends who you are talking to, how much is said, and the reactions of the person or people listening. Kelly Batten, in her 2010 book One Day You’ll Find Me, said, “People say talking about it makes it better. Sometimes talking abut it makes it worse.”
Sometimes, talk is just talk and nothing changes. ‘But saying stuff, even if it’s good, isn’t enough. Dad never did anything, he just talked about it. Even I knew you needed plans,’ said Glenda Millard in her 2010 book, A Small Free Kiss in the Dark.
Talk therapy and talking to people do not necessarily address core issues.
“Talking is good. It’s good to disturb the silence.” – Marty Rubin
“We talk, even if no one listens, because we never know when someone will.” – Caitlyn Paige
“I try my best to create a good quote while sitting alone. But I can never create it. Only on talking to you I get lots of lines.” – Pawan Mehra
DISCLAIMER: This website’s author does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician or psychologist, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, information provided here is not intended to replace readers’ existing or other medical, psychological, financial, or legal advice. The author’s intent is to offer general information to help readers in their quest for emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, guidance towards self-empowerment, and/or for entertainment purposes only. Rainy Day Healing and Martina Nicolls shall not be held accountable for any loss which may arise from any readers’ reliance and implementation of any information provided. For information on courses and personal consultations, see TERMS AND CONDITIONS.