Talking therapies involve talking and listening. Most of us want someone to talk to, who listens and accepts us especially when we are going through a bad time Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends. Some therapists will aim to find the root cause of your problem and help you deal with this, some will help you change your behaviour or negative thoughts, while others will support you. Therapists are trained to listen attentively, to help you find your own answers, without judging you.
People go into therapy for a whole range of reasons. It may be that somebody has died or left, or that you have become depressed or isolated. You may be unable to sleep, or are having panic attacks. Or you may be simply trying to understand yourself better.
Talking therapies do not offer magic solutions, it can be hard work and progress can be slow or painful. It may not be the right time for you to talk, or talking about things may make you feel worse at first. What you feel able to cope with is the most important thing, and this can change over time.
There are many kinds of talking therapy, with a lot of overlap between them. Therapists have different types of training, so their approach and way of working will vary. Research has shown that how you get on with the individual therapist is more important than the type of therapy you get. If you and the therapist can work well together, trust and respect each other, it is more likely to work for you.
You might want to see a therapist from a similar background or culture, or you might prefer a female or male therapist. Although a good therapist will not impose their values or prejudices on you.