Psychotherapy and Counselling
Psychotherapy means "mind-healing". In practice it is the treatment of disorders by using psychological methods - in addition to or instead of medical treatments. Psychotherapy is a set of techniques used to treat mental health and emotional problems and some psychiatric disorders. It helps the person to understand and accept their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what makes them feel positive or anxious. Identifying feelings and ways of thinking helps the person to cope with situations they find difficult, and new ways of approaching them.
Psychotherapy began with Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis n 1894. But since the mid-20th century there have been other approaches. Today the term psychotherapy includes many different forms of help given by a trained professional to individuals, couples and groups.
Main types of psychotherapy
Psychodynamic Therapy - based on psychoanalysis - for e.g anxiety, depression, eating disorders, grief, panic, phobias, psychosomatic illnesses, relationship problems and stress.
Behavioural Therapy - based on learning theories - for e,g,removing fear, desensitizing extreme fear or phobias, aversion therapy, behaviour modification.
Cognitive Therapy - based on changing thinking - e.g. Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behaviourtherapy ( REBT), Cognitive Restructuring Therapy (CRT) - for phobias, schizophrenia, Chronic Fatigue syndrome, bulimia nervosa, depression, anxiety.
Humanistic Therapy - based on assisting individuals to achieve their own goals ( many "counsellors" are trained in humanistic approaches, based on Carl Rogers' non - directive, Person Centered Therapy (PCT) but also use cognitive and behavioural therapies too.)
Group Therapy - getting people in similar situations to help each other
Family Therapy- for the individual, the nuclear family, or an extended network - the focus is on the relationships between the people.
Solution Focused Therapy - Solution focused brief therapy is brief and effective. Research shows it to bring about lasting change on average in less than 5 sessions and in up to 83% of referrals. It can be brief because it is future, possibility focused and because it works with the strengths of those who come by making the best use of their resources, and it can bring about lasting change precisely because it aims to build solutions rather than solve problems.
Counselling is the process of creating a climate where the individual feels accepted and is encouraged to talk freely about their feelings. The therapist enables the individual to explore options, choose appropriate solutions and make decisions.
Counselling and psychotherapy are similar in that they are both a dynamic process which varies according to the needs of the person and their circumstances. It is also a problem solving process. Problems and potential solutions are explored. They help the individual draw on their inner resources.
When life is disrupted by individual, relationship, family or work-related problems, psychotherapy and counselling can help. Working in a quiet, confidential setting, talking things through with a fully trained psychotherapist or counsellor will reveal possible ways of changing things for the better.
Psychotherapy and counseling are often referred to as 'the talking cure', they are not so much a cure as support and guidance offered to people of all ages, to help resolve difficulties in life when they have felt too stressed or overwhelmed to make any headway. That can happen for many reasons: illness, loss or bereavement, work or education pressures, relationship difficulties, life crises past and present.
Confiding in family and friends, if available, may often help but is not always easy or appropriate. This is where the experienced therapist can assist in helping you towards a deeper understanding of yourself and your thoughts, feelings and actions. Psychotherapy and Counselling can help you to clarify the situation, understanding what is happening, and gain new confidence, control and choice in life.