We all face challenges in our lives from time to time and sometimes we can feel too overwhelmed to deal with our problems. A psychotherapist can help you during these times by providing a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly and assists you in working through your emotional problems and life issues. Your therapist will listen to you in an objective, non-judgmental and compassionate way, having been trained not only to listen to what is being said, but also looking out for subtle nuances, defence mechanisms, emotional responses, and your psychological needs. Because of their ability to listen in this way, you can feel confident to discuss any matter with your therapist to work together to identify and change the thought and behaviour patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
Many people enquire about the difference between psychotherapy and counselling. Essentially, they have the same goal, which is to help you overcome issues that are distressing and improve your quality of life. In general psychotherapists tend to train for longer and as a result, often work with more complex clients or those who want to have longer-term therapy. However, many counsellors also work with complicated cases and work in depth as well.
What does it involve?
Throughout therapy, you and your psychotherapist will explore your problems through talking. For some people, just being able to talk freely about a problem brings relief. In the early stages, your therapist will guide you through the process and will let you set the pace when it comes to telling your story. This will help you clarify what’s troubling you. You’ll then move into a problem-solving phase, working together to find alternative ways of thinking, behaving and managing your feelings.
As you begin to resolve the issues that brought you to psychotherapy, you may learn new skills that will help you see yourself and the world differently, being able to distinguish between situations you can change and those you can’t and how to focus on improving the things within your control
Psychotherapy can be short or long term and the number of sessions will depend on you, your therapist, and the depth and complexity of the issues you want to resolve. Sessions generally take place weekly and on average people attend between 8 - 12 sessions, with some seeking therapy for 2 years or more.
What are the Benefits?
Psychotherapy sessions are confidential which means that you can talk about things you might not feel able to discuss with anyone else. Your therapist will work with you to help you find better ways to cope, or bring about changes in the way you think and behave to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing. Psychotherapy can be helpful in treating many problems including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, eating disorders and personality disorders.
Psychotherapy can also help with a number of life's stresses and conflicts that can affect anyone including:
- Relief of anxiety or stress due to work or other situations
- Resolution of relationship conflicts with your partner or someone else in your life
- Coping with major life changes, such as divorce, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job
- Coming to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem,
- Recovery from physical or sexual abuse