“What will therapy actually do for me?” “I don’t know if it’s going to work.” “My problems aren’t that bad.” Sound familiar? Before I experienced therapy myself, these were common thoughts I would tell myself to perpetuate the stigma that therapy is ineffective, and it definitely won’t work for me. I’m here to tell you why that’s just not true.
Research by Alice Walton, Ph.D., (2017) tells us that not only does therapy work, but it can also actually change your brain structure by rewiring the neural pathways in your brain. The rewiring of your neural pathways enhances the connectivity between various regions of the brain, such as our prefrontal cortex (in charge of higher-level thinking and reasoning), and our amygdala (our fear and emotion center of the brain). So when we experience a negative or stressful event, therapy increases the chance that you will be able to tap into your reasoning and logic part of your brain, instead of depending on your emotions to make decisions.
Therapy can actually change your brain structure
We have learned that our brain is quite malleable and changeable. Research has also shown us that the size of our amygdala (fear center) can actually decrease in size when a person has gained the right tools and strategies to regulate their emotions. These are just a few examples of how our brain can physically change, for the better, due to the effects of therapy.
Still not convinced? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America tells us that anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States, age 18 and older; and globally, 1 in 13 suffers from anxiety. Although anxiety is highly treatable, specifically through CBT, only 36.9% of those diagnosed actually get treatment.
Let’s not even get started on depression. It is estimated that 322 people worldwide suffer from depression. Both anxiety and depression are highly treatable, with therapeutic interventions relieving 50-75% of symptoms of both disorders.
Are you ready to finally feel some relief? Give us a call at 248-256-5044.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org)
Walton, Alice G. (2017) Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at CUNY Graduate Center.
World Health Organization (www.who.it)