- To change their thoughts, feelings, habits and actions, or skills in getting to some goal.
- To change relationships or social situations, including improving or ending these.
- To change their living or working environment or to receive something they deserve from another person or business or agency such as compensation, accommodation, recognition, etc.- or to avoid something they don’t deserve.
Another briefer way of stating these is that a person wants to have more control over himself/herself; or more control over what happens in a relationship; or some control over the outside world. Let’s assume there is no such thing as magic (or if there is magic, I am not able to help you with it).
You are already exerting a great deal of control of yourself, by getting rest, eating for energy, wearing a seat belt for safety, showing up for work on time, wearing shoes that protect your feet, reading your email, following advice. Would psychotherapy or medication assist in increasing your self control? Perhaps yes. Perhaps the opposite: not seeing a therapist or not taking medication might increase self control. Look at the facts and make a decision. You cannot have perfect or total control because there are always happenings that interfere: you can have more or less.
CONTROL OF RELATIONSHIPS
Similar to above. You already have some control over the relationship and the other person’s behavior. You communicate, you spend time with, you give and receive, you refuse, you talk to mutual connections, you set boundaries. You could do more or less or differently.
CONTROL OF OUTSIDE WORLD
Usually this is much less complicated: You come for an expert opinion or a report or to complete a form, and it is this piece of paper or electronic report that will, we hope, get you what you deserve and thereby add to your control of the outside.
Obviously, the above comments are simple minded and relativistic and do not probe the intricacies of free will, the self, and other philosophical issues. My goal is to present a real world perspective on your expectations and options when you visit a psychiatrist. You want to improve your control over your life and want to know some possible ways to do this including advice on self help and health, psychotherapy, medication, reports and opinions.