Insights on Therapy, Growth, and Decision-Making from a Mental Health Community Discussion

This article summarizes a mental health community discussion where individuals shared their recent learnings and insights related to therapy, addiction, health, personal growth, and decision-making.

The discussion covered a variety of topics, including the similarities between different forms of talk therapy, the personification of addiction as an inner voice, the benefits of a holistic approach to health, the use of dream analysis in understanding oneself, the importance of taking ownership of one’s life and choices, the balance between kindness and self-care in relationships, and the considerations involved in deciding when to shut down a psychotherapy practice.

The participants shared their experiences and perspectives, providing a diverse and valuable collection of insights that shed light on various mental health and personal development aspects.

Queries and Resolutions

When is a good time to shut down your practice?

Providing psychotherapy is a fulfilling but often lonely journey. So it’s natural to question whether it’s time to move on.

However, making such a decision can be overwhelming, considering financial concerns, personal goals, and more.

Before making any drastic decisions, it’s essential to reflect on why you became a psychologist and your goals. Are they being met in your current practice?

Finances can play a significant role in closing a practice. Therefore, it’s essential to assess your financial situation and determine if there are ways to improve it before making any decisions.

Consider your practice’s growth potential. Is there room for expansion, or are you at a plateau? If there is growth potential, it may be worth exploring different marketing strategies.

Are there any partnerships or collaborations that you could pursue to expand your practice’s reach? It’s always good to explore different avenues before deciding to close down.

Reflect on your client load and the types of cases you handle. Are you passionate about your work, or do you feel burnt out? It’s essential to take care of your mental health as well.

Consider seeking advice from colleagues or mentors in the field. They may have valuable insights and experiences to share that could help you make a more informed decision.

Take some time to create a timeline for decision-making. This will help you stay organized and make a more informed decision.

Keep an open mind to alternative solutions. The answer is restructuring your practice, reducing hours, or even taking a sabbatical.

Remember, there is always time to pivot in your career. So whatever decision you make, trust that it’s right for you and your future.

Why are people so resistant to growth and change?

resisting change causes

  1. Fear of the unknown: This is a common reason why people resist change. The uncertainty of what lies ahead can be scary and make people hesitant to take action. They may need help with how they will cope with new situations or the consequences of change.

  2. Comfort zone: People prefer what is familiar and comfortable, even if it may not be the best for them. Sticking with the same routines and habits can be comforting, and breaking out of that comfort zone can be challenging.

  3. Status quo: Some people resist change simply because they want things to stay the same. They may feel that any change is unnecessary or disruptive.

  4. Lack of motivation: Making changes can require effort and motivation; some people may simply need more energy or desire to act.

  5. Self-doubt: People may doubt their ability to adapt to new situations or fear that they will not be able to handle the challenges of change.

  6. Rigidity: Some people may resist change because they are set in their ways and do not want to deviate from their established routines or beliefs.

  7. Loss of control: Change can sometimes mean a loss of control, and some people may resist that feeling of uncertainty or not having power over the situation.

  8. Lack of support: People may only accept change if they feel they have the support they need from others. They may fear they will not receive the help they need to make the change.

  9. Past trauma: Negative experiences in the past can make people hesitant to make changes that could lead to similar outcomes or trigger painful memories.

  10. Pride: Finally, some people may resist change simply out of pride or a desire to maintain their current position or image. They may feel that change is beneath them or that they are too essential to need to change.

Sometimes, we become comfortable in our current state, and the thought of changing can seem overwhelming. But staying stagnant won’t lead to progress or happiness.

Fear of failure can also hold us back from embracing change. We worry that if we try something new and fail, it will reflect our worth. But failure is a necessary step on the path to success.

Building resilience is critical to overcoming challenges and adapting to change. Instead of seeing obstacles as roadblocks, view them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Learning new things and expanding our knowledge can be intimidating, but growth is necessary. So embrace the unknown and take on new challenges.

Having a support system is essential when going through a period of growth and change. Surround yourself with people encouraging and inspiring you to be your best self.

Getting caught up in our perspectives and resisting change is easy because it challenges our beliefs. But being open-minded and willing to consider other viewpoints can lead to personal growth and progress.

Don’t be afraid to seek help and guidance from others. For example, talking to a therapist or coach can provide valuable insights and tools to help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.

Change requires effort, commitment, and perseverance. It won’t happen overnight, but if you stay focused and dedicated, you will achieve your goals and reach new heights.

Remember, growth and change are possible for everyone. Don’t let fear or doubt hold you back from living the life you deserve. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and keep moving forward.

Ultimately, embracing change and growth can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life. So it’s worth the effort!

What is the one thing that keeps you all motivated to go to work every day?

Hear from 10 experts in different fields, from developmental to forensic psychology, as they share what drives them to make a difference in people’s lives.

  1. Witnessing the transformative power of behavior therapy keeps me motivated to go to work every day. I’ve learned that lasting change comes from identifying and modifying the environmental factors that reinforce behavior. In addition, it’s incredibly fulfilling to help clients achieve their goals and improve their overall quality of life.

  2. As a cognitive psychologist, I’m motivated by the opportunity to understand the complex processes underlying human thought and behavior. I’ve learned that cognition is not a fixed trait but a malleable skill that can be improved through targeted interventions. It’s truly gratifying to help clients develop the cognitive tools they need to achieve their goals.

  3. Working in social psychology, I’m driven by the opportunity to explore the complex interplay between individuals and their social environment. I’ve learned that social norms and expectations can profoundly impact behavior and that interventions designed to shift these norms can lead to lasting change. It’s genuinely inspiring to contribute to the development of effective social interventions.

  4. As a developmental psychologist, what keeps me motivated to go to work every day is the chance to contribute to a better understanding of how children grow and develop. I’ve learned that development is a complex interplay between genetic, environmental, and social factors. It’s incredibly fulfilling to help parents and caregivers support children’s healthy growth and development.

  5. As a clinical psychologist, my motivation comes from the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives. I’ve learned that mental health challenges are complex and multifaceted and that effective treatment requires a tailored approach that addresses both the individual and their broader social context. It’s genuinely humbling to help clients overcome their struggles and live their best lives.

  6. The most rewarding aspect of my work as a counseling psychologist is the opportunity to support my clients as they navigate life’s challenges. I’ve learned that counseling is a collaborative process that requires empathy, active listening, and a deep understanding of the client’s unique perspective. It’s truly fulfilling to help clients gain insight into their own lives and develop the skills they need to thrive.

  7. What keeps me motivated to go to work every day is the opportunity to contribute to developing effective educational strategies that can help all students succeed. I’ve learned that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor and that effective teaching requires an understanding of the unique needs and abilities of each student. It’s truly inspiring to help educators create learning environments that foster growth and development.

  8. As a neuropsychologist, I’m motivated by the opportunity to understand the complex interplay between brain structure and function. I’ve learned that the brain is a remarkably adaptable organ that can change and grow in response to new experiences and challenges. Exploring how brain plasticity can be harnessed to support cognitive and emotional well-being is fascinating.

  9. As a forensic psychologist, what keeps me motivated is the chance to contribute to the criminal justice system by providing expert testimony and evaluations. I’ve learned that the intersection of law and psychology is complex and fascinating and that my work can impact people’s lives. In addition, it’s gratifying to use my skills to help ensure justice is served.

  10. The most motivating aspect of my work as a health psychologist is the opportunity to help people improve their physical and mental well-being. I’ve learned that health is not just the absence of disease but a holistic state encompassing physical, emotional, and social well-being. Therefore, it’s truly fulfilling to help clients develop the skills they need to live healthy, vibrant lives.

How effective is EMDR in treating PTSD?

  1. EMDR is recommended as a first-line treatment for PTSD by several clinical guidelines and organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

  2. Research studies have consistently shown that EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD. In addition, some studies indicate it may be as effective as other well-established therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

  3. EMDR effectively treats various types of trauma, including combat-related trauma, childhood abuse, sexual assault, and natural disasters.

  4. EMDR is a relatively short-term treatment, typically lasting 8-12 sessions, which can benefit people who may not have the resources or time to engage in long-term therapy.

  5. EMDR is effective across different age groups, genders, and cultural backgrounds, suggesting that it is a broadly applicable treatment.

  6. While the exact mechanisms of action for EMDR are poorly understood, it is thought to work by helping individuals process traumatic memories and reframe negative beliefs about themselves that may have resulted from the trauma.

  7. Some people may experience temporary side effects, such as vivid dreams or increased distress, immediately after a session, but these effects usually subside within a few hours.

EMDR is generally considered a safe treatment, but it may not be appropriate for everyone. Therefore, discussing your needs and circumstances with a mental health professional is essential to determine whether EMDR fits you well.

Fresh Learnings

After completing an introductory course in Narrative Therapy, I realized that various forms of talk therapy, despite their different approaches, ultimately aim to address and resolve the patterns in our lives that no longer serve us. This analogy is akin to the old saying that all roads lead to Rome, implying that there are different routes to reach the same destination. In the same way, different forms of talk therapy can lead to similar outcomes in helping individuals overcome their redundant patterns.

Simi Hanspal

During a recent podcast, I found an analogy for addiction particularly insightful: addiction is like being trapped in an abusive relationship with a voice in your head. This is evident from the symptoms, as the voice constantly manipulates and belittles our intuition, convincing us that our needs are unique and different from those around us. This results in a lack of trust in the advice of our friends and helpers, as we start believing that only the voice truly understands what’s best for us. Over time, the voice’s self-abusive nature undermines our confidence in our inner wisdom, causing us to rely more and more on addictive behaviors while disregarding our bodily sensations and instincts.

While the concept of personifying addiction as a harsh inner voice may seem simplistic, I find it helpful to understand the complicated relationship between addiction and our psyche.

Sheila Southon

During my stay at Jindal, I was introduced to a unique way of living that involved a holistic approach to health. The daily routine began at 5:00 am with a Kriya walk, yoga, meditation, laughter therapy, and a balanced diet plan accompanied by a treatment plan. Through this experience, I gained knowledge about what to eat and what to avoid. As a result, I now realize I can sustain myself on a diet primarily consisting of soup. This was an eye-opening realization for me; anyone can adopt this way of living to achieve and maintain good health.

Dr. Kavita Bhargava

Recently, I found myself struggling with a decision related to releasing an episode for my podcast, Talk it Out. However, one morning I had a dream seemingly unrelated to my podcast, but it gave me valuable insight into the analysis. I was proud of myself for deciphering the meaning behind my dream and applying my expertise in the subject matter to benefit myself.

This experience made me realize that even though I am not immune to experiencing unsettling dreams and anxious thoughts, I can use my knowledge and skills to overcome these obstacles and better understand myself.

Body keeps the score by Bessel Van der Kolk

The boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse by Charlie Mackesy

Yakata Sharma

I came across a fascinating existential therapy concept emphasizing our responsibility toward our freedom. We can shape ourselves into who we want to be. However, it is up to us to choose how we respond to our circumstances. Unfortunately, we often need to remember this aspect of choice, making us feel stuck.

This realization has been eye-opening, as it has helped me better understand the importance of taking ownership of my life and choices. By acknowledging my ability to choose how I respond to situations, I feel empowered to create the life I want for myself, even in the face of challenges.

Kin Meng

My experience working with clients has made me realize that some individuals have a natural tendency towards kindness, which may occasionally lead to people-pleasing behaviors. However, another group may only exhibit kindness to achieve personal gain without considering the other person’s well-being.

Given this insight, trusting our intuition and setting appropriate boundaries when necessary is essential. While treating others with kindness and empathy is essential, we must also be mindful of our own needs and avoid compromising them for the sake of others who may not have our best interests in mind. By balancing kindness and self-care, we can maintain healthy relationships and avoid being taken advantage of.

Aakansha Sharma


The mental health community’s discussion has shared various personal experiences and insights regarding mental health and well-being. The contributors have highlighted that different forms of talk therapy can lead to similar outcomes in helping individuals overcome their redundant patterns. Addiction can be personified as a harsh inner voice undermining our confidence in our inner wisdom. Practicing a holistic approach to health can lead to long-term benefits. Personal ownership of one’s choices and responsibility toward freedom is crucial. Kindness and self-care must be balanced to maintain healthy relationships. The community has also discussed when it might be the right time to shut down a practice and why people can be resistant to growth and change, which can be due to fear of the unknown. Overall, the discussion highlights the importance of seeking knowledge and practicing self-awareness and empathy towards oneself and others to achieve personal growth and well-being.