Many therapies today are promoted as evidence-based. Often, however, the research shows that these therapies reduce symptoms merely in the short term.
Depth therapy, also known as psychodynamic therapy, has a powerful base of evidence for long-term effectiveness (Shedler, 2010; Leichsenring et al, 2015). Taking depth therapy is like going to the gym, improving your diet, or investing in years of formative education: it helps you flourish in the long run.
The core of depth therapy is gaining self-knowledge, a goal that has been central to philosophy and the lives of wise people down the ages. Gaining self-knowledge means exploring, building an understanding of, and developing deeper relationships with different aspects of the self. It involves gaining insight into the patterns and themes of our lives; what shapes our reactions and relationships; the deep desires and the inner world of imagination that drives us; and the shadow sides of ourselves that we have pushed away or not yet learnt to relate to.
Building self-knowledge via depth therapy is the basis for personal growth. With greater self-understanding, you know more about what you want, and can bring that to fruition. You can be more alert to your emotions and able to be conscious of emotion without being overcome by it. You can live better with others, as more self-understanding gives one a greater ability to understand others, with a greater sense of inner stability and calm.
Through depth therapy, you can clarify your goals and think deeply about the next phase of your career; find greater inner calm at work; develop an ability to deal with conflict gracefully; rediscover passions; manage life transitions; explore meaning in life; uncover new sides to yourself beyond the ones currently seen and used; and, by understanding how experience has shaped your habits and patterns of thought, more effectively manage yourself and be more productive. Taking depth therapy is not always easy, as you may learn difficult things about yourself. But it is often by encountering and learning to relate to difficult things that we can grow stronger and live more fully.