What is Psychotherapy?

What is Psychotherapy?

The goal of psychotherapy is to relieve symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and low self esteem, to improve relationship and occupational functioning. A psychologist helps people understand their problems from a new perspective by offering an objective point of view and new ways thinking, feeling and problem solving. Psychotherapy changes the way people think and feel about themselves and their circumstances. This results in more optimism and the ability to cope with stress and enjoy life more fully.

Psychotherapy is a secure confidential relationship that occurs in a structured setting between a trained psychotherapist and client(s). It is conducted with individuals, couples, groups, and families. Psychologists are legally bound to respect the confidentiality of clients due to the very personal and sensitive topics that are often discussed.

Ethical psychologists are careful to protect the professional boundary of the therapist-client relationship. This creates a safe environment for deep self disclosure and protects the client and the therapist from the expectation of a dual relationship outside of the therapy office. Ethical therapists do not exaggerate their abilities or the outcomes of psychotherapy.

Is Psychotherapy right for me?

Often people enter psychotherapy to help adjust to life changes or to assist with decision making. The experience of transitional stress and pain is a normal part of life. Everyone has feelings of stress, sadness, and anxiety from time to time. It is quite normal to feel stress before a job interview or exam. These symptoms become a problem when they are overwhelming, and continue to make it hard to function in everyday life. Such symptoms include:
– Depressed mood and loss of interest in pleasurable activities
– Problems with sleeping or appetite
– Low energy and poor self esteem
– Inappropriate guilt and thoughts of wanting to die
– Poor memory and concentration
– Intense fear and panic
– Excessive fear of people, places, or life problems
– Reoccurring symptoms of trauma or grief
– Drug or alcohol use that impairs peak performance
– Relationship conflicts that become life patterns
There are additional reasons why people come to therapy. Many seek the advice of a psychologist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working toward change in their lives.

Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it.

In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy.

Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available when participating in psychotherapy. Psychologists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, adjustment to life transitions, decision making, and creative blocks. Many people also find that psychologists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychologists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

– Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
– Developing skills for improving your relationships
– Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
– Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
– Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
– Improving communications and listening skills
– Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
– Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
– Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific needs and goals. It is standard for psychologists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around forty-five to fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

– Compassion, respect and understanding
– Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
– Real strategies for enacting positive change
– Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

n some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication.

Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress.

You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

Is therapy confidential?

n general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, law requires some exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

– Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse.
– If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
– If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.