Despite the fact that it is increasingly common to go to the psychologist, and that the patient profile has become incredibly varied in recent decades, there is still a somewhat limited view of the tasks that psychologists can perform to help people.
The idea that psychological intervention is primarily for people with severe psychiatric illnesses is totally wrong today, even though many people still believe in it. After all, behind a type of psychological problem or need there are professionals in psychology working to provide treatment and care.
So… what can a psychologist really help you with? Here is a summary.
The usefulness of going to the psychologist
Let’s start with the basics: what is psychology? It is basically the science that studies behavior and psychological processes, which include the way we think, feel and act . From this scientific field arises the branch of applied psychology, which uses scientific knowledge to solve the problems with psychological roots of individuals, groups and institutions.
If you look, there has been no mention of the concept of “disease”, “pathology” or “disorder” so far. And this is not by chance: psychologists do not work by simply obeying terms that limit our scope of intervention, but we use these concepts to know what we are talking about when working with certain psychological phenomena, and to differentiate them from the rest. In other words, we distinguish between the pathological and the non-pathological only if it makes sense to do so in a given context, and not because the reason for our work is mental illness: it is not.
There is no clear dividing line between what has traditionally been called “madness” and the rest of behaviour patterns. Beyond the areas of work in which each professional specializes, psychologists work with all psychological processes in general, not only with those that can be considered disorders.
You only have to think about what is usually done in couples therapy or school psychology to see clear examples of psychologists helping people who in many cases have not been diagnosed with any disorder and simply suffer from lack of motivation, difficulties in living with someone, frustration at not having friends, etc.
How can a psychologist help?
Now that we have seen that psychology is a very broad and challenging area of work, it is easier to understand that psychologists often intervene in a wide variety of problems. These are the most important areas of work.
1. Mood problems
Many people go to a psychologist because they feel sad or emotionally stagnant . This often happens in cases where there is depression or other mood disorders, but in others, there is no identifiable disorder, but a person who is simply going through a bad time. For example, because of the recent death of a loved one, or because she has been fired from her job.
In all of these cases, we psychologists work so that our patients learn to maintain habits that keep this type of suffering at bay.
2. Anxiety problems
Anxiety and excess stress are common problems that can occur at any age.
In some cases, much of what causes this discomfort has to do with genetic predispositions, while in other cases it is mainly due to having lived through stressful situations or having been subjected to anxiety inducing environments (school where there are bullying attacks, very competitive work spaces, etc.). In any case, it is almost always possible to improve significantly through psychotherapy .
3. Sequels of harassment or traumatic events
Being a victim of violence can mark many people. In the sessions with the psychologist, everything is done so that these painful memories stop frightening the people who suffer them.
4. Relationship problems
As we have seen, this is another area in which psychologists get involved in order to improve the quality of life of those in a relationship .
5. Support for people with existential crisis
There are people who go to the psychologist simply because they don’t know what to do with their life, which can be summarized as a problem of lack of sources of motivation. In the psychologist’s office it is easier to find exciting projects and to commit oneself to ways of learning new skills that allow one to enter new paths of personal development.
6. Learning and developmental problems
Both in child and adolescent psychotherapy and in psychological assistance to children without diagnosed disorders , psychology professionals contribute to learning to relate to others, to the contents taught at school and to their own emotions and thoughts.
7. Psychological assistance to patients with chronic pathologies
Many psychologists specialize in giving psychological support to patients with pathologies and disorders that are damaging their quality of life , many of which are severe. We can highlight, for example, the therapists who treat people with psychotic disorders, with dementias or with illnesses that have to directly affect the nervous system, such as cancer.
8. Therapy for people with eating disorders
Another of the psychologist’s areas of expertise is eating problems, and specifically support for people with obesity, metabolic disorders or eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia).
Where to find psychological assistance?
Today, psychologists provide care in a wide variety of contexts, both in companies and in public and private schools and health clinics.
If you are interested in contacting our psychotherapy centre in Seville, Cribecca Psychology , you can find our contact details by clicking here.