People seek counseling and therapy for a variety of reasons. Some want a therapist to assist the desire for a more meaning-filled and passionate life. These clients bring stories of their current life and perspectives and ask for the therapist to challenge their perspectives and ways of living so that they are always on the cutting edge of maturity and growth. These clients may want to focus on particular psychological, philosophical, or theological questions that need the challenge of purposeful questions and input.
Many people seek therapy because something in life has become particularly dissatisfying or problematic. The problem may be individual or relational. Individual problems may include anxieties, depressions, sexual addictions or other obsessive behavior, and uncontrollable moods that are in the way of living a satisfying life. Others come to therapy because relationships are stressed. For example, a client may need to express fears or anxieties about their marriage or other significant relationship, or a couple may seek counseling to work through relational patterns that are painful and tense.
In some cases, all that is required is short-term advice. However, many clients find that real change requires more than minor behavioral adjustments. These clients desire a deeper look at past story, troubling emotions, and habitual ways of relating to others. They find relief from problems, not in minor adjustments, but in transformative experiences with the therapist and others that create a new way of seeing self, others, and the world. Thus, life becomes richer and more satisfying as the client relates differently to themselves and to others. Good therapy provides sound advice as well as a context for self and relational maturity.