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Talk Therapy: It’s Not Just Talk

It’s not unusual for people to be hesitant to try talk therapy.

“If I want to talk to somebody, I’ll talk to my friends,” gripes Nicole. “I’m not going to talk to a complete stranger. What for? It’s stupid!”

“If you’ve got troubles in this world, you just have to deal with them,” roars Ben. “What would talking about it do? You have to suck it up and deal with it, not whine about it.”

Yes, talk therapy (for those who haven’t tried it) has gotten bad press. And in large part, I believe it’s because of the name. Talk, talk, talk. Talk is cheap in our society. Everybody’s yakking away about something. So why do we need more talk?

What if therapy were called something else, something that expresses its essence? Not how it takes place (yes, people do talk in therapy), but what actually takes place during therapy? Ah, now we’re clicking. Here are a few alternative names that I have a soft spot for:

  • Awareness, awakening, enriching therapy
  • Educational, experiential, inspirational therapy
  • Insight, meditative, motivational therapy

Take your pick. Talk therapy embodies all of these and more. Ideally, I’d like to scratch “talk therapy” and choose all nine of these words. But, alas, that would be quite a mouthful. So, if I’m forced to choose, my favorite is “insight therapy.”

Why insight therapy? Because therapy helps you gain tremendous insights into your behavior, thoughts, feelings, speech patterns, and more. The insights you gain don’t end with just you. You gain insights into how others behave, how we’re all influenced by cultural and gender patterns, and how change happens.

What might draw you to insight therapy? It’s usually experiencing stress and tension, anxiety and depression, sexual and self-confidence issues, relationship turbulence, career confusion, or any other aspect of living or loving that doesn’t feel right to you.

How does change occur in insight therapy? In a supportive, nonjudgmental environment, you’ll learn to clarify your thoughts, strengthen your speech patterns, and expand your repertoire of behaviors.

You’ll learn how to calm yourself via meditative practice and how to reduce your fear incrementally. Over time, you’ll gain insights that you can’t even imagine now. As you do, your confidence and competence will grow. With this magical duo, the possibilities are limitless.

Oh, and one more benefit of insight therapy. It enhances how you feel, not just psychologically but also physically. For when something is amiss, your body is the first to know, reacting by tightening up.

If you keep tightening and tensing, all sorts of physical ailments will plague you. Learn to reduce your stress and your body will thank you by feeling zippier and zestier. Then you may notice that you no longer have the need for “pill therapy.” For “insight therapy,” with its slow and steady pace, has won the race.


Therapy session photo available from Shutterstock

Talk Therapy: It’s Not Just Talk

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

Dr. Linda Sapadin, psychologist, success coach and author is proud to announce the publication of her new book, Overcoming Your Procrastination: College Student Edition – Advice for 6 Personality Styles available on Amazon. Now more than ever with remote learning, this book is a must-have. If you’re a perfectionist, dreamer, worrier, crisis-maker, defier or please, grab your copy. No longer a student? Get my book How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age – 6 Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Visit to subscribe to my free e-newsletter. Contact her at

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APA Reference
Sapadin, L. (2018). Talk Therapy: It’s Not Just Talk. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 9 Jan 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.