Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: How can it help?

Problematic mother daughter relationship illustration

Are you considering therapy? Here we describe the main lines of our understanding of how mental illness develops and how talk therapy helps. 

We describe mechanisms at different levels that contribute, and how we work in therapy to change the established patterns.

This will give you a better understanding of the processes in talk therapy and make it easier to decide if therapy can help you. You will also get a clearer sense of whether we can be the right psychologist for you.

All courses of therapy are different and the breadth of issues is large. Sometimes one seeks conversational therapy for expertise in discussions of a current situation.

Other times, there are years of patterns you want for life. What is common, however, is that when talk therapy works, it is about change.

The first level is to be able to deal with symptoms and locked patterns without compromising functioning. The next step is to even get rid of symptoms and ailments.

Secondly, about inner freedom, development and growth.

Why talk therapy with a psychologist?

An ordinary human life offers plenty of limitations, challenges and painful experiences in itself, if one is not to have to deal with life-limiting, painful and oppressive internal processes as well.

We do this work to help fellow human beings to greater inner freedom to live out their lives, and create good relationships with others.

What drives us is the certainty of the difference this work can make in your life. And every human being is woven into it.

With us, no difficulty is too small or too big to be taken seriously. If you are in doubt about whether you have enough reason to get in touch, there is an issue we can openly discuss in the first hour.  

If the problems run deep, you should know that we have cutting-edge expertise in working with complex issues.

We have a long specialization in intensive short-term depth therapy (ISTDP) and has helped many with several failed therapy attempts behind them.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: Digging into the past vs scratching the surface

In therapy, we work at different levels. First, the conscious level, where symptoms or locked patterns unfold.

Here we can intervene with various "tools" that are behavioral, cognitive, attentional and interpretive strategies to be able to fight with symptoms and patterns, weaken them and function better in everyday life.

This is standard for most people who practice talk therapy.

Conversational therapy that goes deeper

Sometimes you do not get where you want to go through these methods. This is often because there are unconscious emotional conflicts at play.

One sees that the problems are irrational, but still fail to stop them. You know how to think, but you can not think like that.

The problems are rooted on a deeper emotional level. We must therefore work in ways that can activate these deeper layers through emotion-focused and psychodynamic therapy.

We try to do this work in an intensified and efficient way.

In conversation therapy with us, we take as our starting point the symptoms as they appear in life here and now, and analyze the inner dynamics that create the difficulties.

We often see that the symptoms are intensified by something in everyday life that triggers something unresolved from the past. Then we work as precisely and efficiently in depth as we can.

We do not dig for the sake of digging. Conversational therapy where you only talk about and dwell unstructured on the past, we have limited faith in.

But we know that working on the target with specific psychological mechanisms that have set in from an early age can be very potent.

Especially those who are constantly reactivated in daily life, often under the consciousness radar. We are trained to look for signals about such and try to take specific action. 

If we do not hit an oar, we move on.

Adapted psychotherapy

We always adapt the working method in collaboration with the client. How we set up a talk therapy depends on the goals of the therapy and what actually works for you.

In the following, we will write about how we work with deep-rooted difficulties. The text is intended to give it a greater understanding of the mechanisms that can form the basis for current problems.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: From relationship to symptom - and back again

We work on the basis of a mainstream psychological basic assumption that from the time we are born, the need for connection and contact is our primary motivation, and that this continues to characterize us throughout life.

However, we can consciously move away from the basic contact and relationship needs to a greater or lesser degree. Not least in an individualized society.

It is often difficult to see that symptoms on the surface have a sound basis in internal conflicts related to these primary needs.

A child's development is usually about a compromise between authenticity and attachment.

If the degree of adaptation becomes too great, the underlying internal conflicts can be kept in unconscious chess for quite some time. For someone for life.

Psychological crisis as a growth opportunity

For the luckiest, the facade eventually cracks big enough. The symptoms (e.g. burnout, or conflict shyness) become so obvious that they cannot be ignored.

Although symptoms are troublesome in themselves, it provides an opportunity to take oneself seriously enough to start in psychotherapy.

In this way, one can work oneself through the underlying conflicts that have often contributed to an imbalance in the soul's life for a long time.

For some, this may mean a chance at a second life - more authentic and harmonious rather than adapted and disharmonious.

Relationship-oriented talk therapy

Happiness research, as well as testimonials from people in the last phase of life point in the same direction: It is the good relationships with others that create meaning and happiness in life.

Precisely because relationships with others are so important to us, difficulties and symptoms can develop in the wake of our attempts at relationship formation.

These previous relationship experiences form inner models for how we see ourselves and others.

If you have been hurt and frustrated in previous attachment efforts, you may begin to develop anxiety that these feelings will be triggered again.

One ends up taking out a safety distance to other people. There is no need to talk about dramatic trauma.

When we protect ourselves from closeness to others, we simultaneously compromise our innermost desires and longings. We are here to love and be loved. 

The more we move away from this core, the greater the potential for an unbalanced life and symptom formation.

With us, you will have the opportunity to work your way through the layers of learned protection you may have built up, and become familiar and finished with old feelings, and restore contact with who you boil down to being.

This may sound far-fetched, but in therapy we try to work with recognized methods, as specific, targeted and concrete as we can.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: Despite a good upbringing

Many of the mental challenges of modern man should not be individualized at all. It's hard not to get sucked into the maelstrom of the spirit of the times, where we drown in impossible expectations.

A normal life is also an ordeal, with occasional rough seas and undercurrents that make navigation difficult.

When the mental ailments become more pronounced, we see them primarily as different consequences disrupted internalized relational experiences.

At school you learn that one plus one is two, while in the early relationships you learn how to look at yourself, others and the world.

Both relationship experiences with caregivers and peers can have a formative effect on the self-image, automated assumptions about oneself and others, and ways of dealing with one's own feelings and needs.

In short: Who can I be in the world? And who do I have to be careful not to be.

Sometimes it is obvious: You have been bullied at school or harassed at home.

It is often the case that growing up has mainly been good, but there are still more subtle processes that have taken place.

The child adapts behavior and self-image almost limitlessly to ensure attachment or protect family members.

Being able to give something other to your own children than what you received yourself often requires therapy / psychotherapy, or another form of conscious process.

Trivialization and compensation, or simply not being aware of what you yourself have been exposed to, paves the way for you to continue to treat yourself and others according to the same principles you received with breast milk.

The baton is passed on to the next generation.

To be able to break with this form of "inherited sin" often requires a recognition of one's own painful feelings related to loss, loss and longing.

It is also about being able to withstand the protest that somewhere lies within us against the oppressive aspects of our own upbringing.

Without being affected by a bad conscience and self-punishing needs.

Going through such a process in talk therapy is often hard work, but provides more joy, positive bonds, freedom, love and good health for us who live now and potentially for future generations.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: Can it help, is it not just the way I am?

When starting psychotherapy, clients tend to think that a bad conscience, anxiety or other symptoms are just the way they are. It is not true. It is the opposite of who you are.

It is the result of lost negotiations in the span between adaptation and authenticity. It is oppressive inner forces that keep you and who you really are, or were meant to be, down. 

One could say that you are as little these symptoms as a cancer patient is the tumor.

The good news is that almost no matter where tried, we believe that there is still a unique human core there, intact and waiting to unfold.

It's just for us to remove the obstacles and build the capacity. Most often you can get far in a few months, while other processes take years.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: Are my problems insurmountable?

What may appear to be insurmountably complex, complex and overwhelming on the surface, often turns out to originate in a single core conflict on the inside.

In a person with anxiety, depression, certain personality disorders and psychosomatic disorders, the symptoms can often give a holistic meaning in light of conflict-filled emotions from previous attachment efforts.

With associated different types of adaptation strategies and anxiety manifestations. For the above average interested, you can read more about this this spring specialist thesis on the treatment of complex disorders using ISTDP.

For example: Painful and guilt-ridden feelings towards a critical father are constantly triggered in the face of authorities, even if one is not aware of it oneself.

You just notice that you get nervous and doubt yourself.

The unconscious activation of old complex emotions associated with the father creates anxiety - in the head, abdomen, chest or muscles in general, all depending on your anxiety and emotional tolerance (which can be trained).

To try to keep these feelings in check, one can question one's own experience of father as critical, place guilt and responsibility on oneself with accusations of being touchy and weak, and thus remove the negative feelings towards father by flipping them in.

This defense mechanism (flipping negative emotions in) creates low self-esteem - with all the consequences it has.

In addition to such mental repressive operations, the body can also initiate immediate bodily repression of, for example, underlying protest.

One becomes lethargically tired, limp, abandoned, discouraged and struggling with helpless and desperate tears. Then the depression will be close to complete.

If some of the underlying protest comes up, it is often replaced by a bad conscience.

Dad does the best he can, he felt worse, and a lot is good!

Such pockets of guilt in the psyche, can provide a breeding ground for flammable bad conscience in everyday life and not least for a self-punishing need.

We help you in a structured way to identify defense mechanisms, practice anxiety tolerance, emotional tolerance and the ability for self-observation.

Then you will eventually be able to hold your attention inward long enough to begin to see what is happening, endure emotions without anxiety and no longer need the defense mechanisms described above.

Through such structured psychotherapy do not have to doubt yourself, attack yourself, flip negative emotions in, or make it stated heavy and discouraged when difficult emotions approach. 

You get rid of anxiety and depression and the somatic anxiety-related ailments in the head / stomach / muscles.

Self-esteem is strengthened and with it the relationship with yourself and others. Here you can read briefly about how we will set up a therapy against respectively anxiety and depression.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy: For self-pitying egotists?

We experience that in many people's psyche, unnatural contradictions are set up between themselves and others. If I pay attention to myself, it will affect someone else.

These are often obstacles to allowing a therapy process to unfold. Of course, there are people who are stuck in selfishness and who look too little up and out towards others. They are rarely among those who live a life of meaning, contentment and gratitude.

But for most people who choose to seek therapy, the problem is quite different.

Many people struggle with good connections to others because they spend so much energy on the difficult inner processes. This fact can be misused by the ugly on your back as ammunition in a psychological warfare against yourself: You are selfish and self-absorbed.

That is hardly true, you probably rather strive to be able to be yourself with others.

The more structured attention we are able to unite towards your inner processes, the more we will understand of them.

For better opportunities to learn to regulate difficult emotions and resolve internal conflicts that have a driving effect on anxiety, insecurity, bad conscience and negative emotions inward towards the self.

This is how you can live freer, for the good of all. That's what psychotherapy is all about.

By caring together to understand you with curiosity, accuracy, thoroughness and compassion, we have a "fighting chance" against inner repressive forces.

Therapy / psychotherapy / talk therapy at Psykologvirke in Oslo: Our commitment

We at Psykologvirke are committed to presenting ourselves as whole people and the best of professional knowledge in order to reach as many people as possible, reduce pain and remove internal obstacles to growth and development.

We work for everyone we meet to take new steps towards a life free of symptoms, with greater inner freedom and with more joy and love. The ripple effects of such work go a long way.

If you decide to give therapy a try, you are most welcome to schedule an appointment here.

The wait is short so we get started quickly. Come as you are, we'll just take it from there. You will quickly find out if it is for you. We are located in pleasant premises in the center of Oslo by the Storting.

Private psychologist must be paid out of pocket or through own or job health insurance. If you can not afford this, you can read this guide on options to find a psychologist in Oslo.

Some quotes about therapy that may help capture some of our philosophy

"Psychotherapy is a cure through love" (S. Freud)

"Until you make the unconcious concious it will direct your life and you will call it fate." (CG Jung)

"The whole process of life is man giving birth to himself" (E. Fromm)

«The light / you need / exists» (Helge Torvund)