FAQs about Psychotherapy !
Updated: Jul 2
WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy or "Talk Therapy" as it is commonly known, is an Interactive and Collaborative process, wherein a Therapist and the Client come together in order to learn healthy coping mechanisms around mental health issues, psychoeducate themselves about their situation and work towards attaining better quality of life, mental health, emotional resilience, relationships & efficiency. Psychotherapy helps with various Mental Health Issues viz Depression, Anxiety, Low Self Esteem, Relationship Issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as, when combined with medical intervention, can help with management of anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsions related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; focus & other related issues around Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; insight building, behavioural management around Personality Disorders, etc. Contrary to popular belief, the process of Psychotherapy is not limited to just "take a deep breath." The therapists majorly rely on biofeedback involving nervous system responses, working around faulty thinking patterns & tasks/tools that help clients with stress relief. It is a gradual process involving both mind and body. Following are few FAQs regarding Psychotherapy :
How do I know if I need Psychotherapy?
Life is rarely without its challenges. There are some, however, that can be so overbearing that it seems impossible to move on. Most people can benefit from therapy at least some point in their lives. Sometimes, the signs are obvious—but at other times, something may feel slightly off and you can’t figure out what it is. So you trudge on, trying to sustain your busy life until it sets in that life has become unmanageable. You may seek counselling as a result of crisis, trauma, loss of a loved one, complex personal issue, observing behavioural changes, physical sensations, something that feels "Out of Track," not being able to manage stress/fear as well as just to gain clarity and insight about life.
What happens in a session?
There is no typical session. The first thing that a Therapist is likely to do is talk to you about an outline to your problem. Counsellors and Psychotherapists are trained to listen closely to you, your feelings, your thoughts and fears. They are not there to judge you or to tell you off. An important part of this process is seen as the confidential & validating nature so you feel in control of what you say to your Therapist. First session will be of "Case Conceptualization;" wherein, the Therapist will try and conceptualize your situation by asking questions & listening to you to seek suitable information. The next few sessions will be dedicated to something called "Preliminary Assessment," where the Therapist will try to figure out root cause of the issue via screening assessments & further probing.
What issues can Psychotherapy help with? Psychotherapy helps with trauma, anxiety, generalized anxiety problems, panic attack, phobias, workplace issues, incompatible partner, life adjustments, depression, low self-esteem, sexual problems, symptomatic management of issues like OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder), etc. What kind of people seek Psychotherapy? There is no barrier to whom Therapy can assist. Regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation or employment group you can seek counselling. It is not only for Adults but also beneficial for Couples, Families Teenagers and Children. How do I know which approach is most suited to me? If you are simply not sure what particular approach would suit you, your first session will be an assessment where you can discuss your issues and the different types of therapy that might help. How do I know which therapist is best for me? In the first session both the client and the Therapist will have an opportunity to decide if you benefit from working together. You can also learn about the therapist and their approaches. Different issues demand different approach. What if I want to try more than one kind of Therapy? Many therapist nowadays follow what is known as "integrated approach-" meaning that they are trained in and combine a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches to best help their clients . How long should I expect to have to continue the sessions? The time period depends on the client's circumstances and magnitude of the issues. Generally, 5 to 6 sessions are considered minimum. It also depends on the therapy that the client chooses. ReplyForward
What is the difference between Counselling & Psychotherapy?
Focuses on current/immediate problems
Assistance for symptomatic relief
Preventive in nature
Focuses on root cause and chronic problems
Focuses on building healthy coping mechanisms & causing change
Emotions & Experience oriented
Remedial in nature
How can I remain consistent on my therapy? In order to achieve therapy goals, consistency is the key. It’s never too late to increase consistency levels in our lives. Even if we have lived decades with a pattern of inconsistency, we are not wed to it. All of us have the capacity to elect more stability in day to day life. Few ways to maintain consistence are by evaluating the needs, isolating one goal at a time & focussing on incremental improvement. One cannot develop a positive, worthwhile habit overnight. It requires one to identify point of resistance and push through it brick by brick using tools given during Therapy. The brain is a neuroplastic organ. Key factor is to forgive your failures & setting the barometer of expectations realistically.
How do I gauge the effects/benefits of Therapy? The Therapeutic process is collaborative. Improvements are proportional to the involvement, cooperation and willingness to do self work from the client's end & skills, knowledge & wisdom from the Therapist's end. The preliminary assessment also has a session called "Goal Setting" wherein goals are set around what should be worked on during the course of the Therapy, that gives a sense of direction & blueprint to the client. Sessions are typically held once a week and practical applications of tasks given during sessions helps the client to mark the scale of improvement. What Psychotherapy CAN NOT assist with?
Psychotherapy does NOT promise to completely cure Neurotic or Psychotic Issues. Psychotherapy alone, without medical intervention, cannot help with major & extreme clinical illnesses.
P.S : Psychotherapy can only be administered by a professional with minimum qualification of Masters (M.A/MSc) in the field of Psychology along with a Diploma or Certification Course in one or more forms of Psychotherapy.
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