What is psychotherapy?
29-08-2022
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a process during which a trained and supervised clinical psychologist helps a person to identify, address and deal with specific or general problems related to mental health issues or various life stressors.

There are different approaches to psychotherapy and, therefore, different methodologies and tools of intervention. The common strand uniting them is that they are all designed to help people overcome challenges, develop and strengthen coping strategies, lead happier and healthier lives, and become more knowledgeable about one’s true-self.

Psychotherapy can take a problem-focused or person-focused approach; it can be a short-term process or a long-term process, depending on the needs and personalities of the people seeking support, as well as the nature of the issues they wish to address and deal with.

Should I engage in psychotherapy?

Engaging in psychotherapy can be difficult. Seeking help, or even recognising that the issues we are facing are too intense for us to deal with alone, are not factors we often like to admit. We may not even be able to notice them.

There is still a great deal of stigma, as well as many misconceptions, about what it means to talk to a mental health professional. Unfortunately, the need to talk about our emotions and feelings is often seen as weak or shameful.

But here is the reality: therapy is an incredibly useful tool that helps with a range of issues. Thinking that we can solve things alone, let alone being able to solve all our problems, is often related to wishful thinking and not very realistic.

Here are some key signs that might help you to recognise when it is time to seek help:
 
  • The issue is causing significant distress or disruption in your life, and you feel that it interrupts a number of important areas of your life - from your daily routines and rituals, to the activities and hobbies you used to enjoy, from feelings of injustice or resentment relevant to your professional identity, colleagues and workplace, to your family and social relations, and to having disruptive existential questions.
     
  • You find yourself dealing with your problem by relying on unhealthy or dangerous coping mechanisms, taking out your frustrations on others or on yourself.
     
  • Friends and family are concerned about your well-being. It has reached a point where other people are worried about your emotional health.
     
  • Nothing you have tried so far has helped. You have read self-help books, explored some techniques you read about online, or even tried just ignoring the problem, yet things just seem to be staying the same or even getting worse.

If you can relate to any of these signs, then it may be the right time to begin your journey towards improved mental health and well-being by speaking with a therapist.

When can I stop psychotherapy?

You should consider ending your time in therapy when your goals have been met, or when it becomes evident that you will not meet them with a specific psychotherapist or through a particular form of psychotherapy.

Internalising the therapist

There is an idea of “internalising” the therapist. When a positive, helpful version of the therapist has been internalised, the flesh and blood version, the real version, of the therapist may not be as necessary as it once was. This might seem strange, but many people rightfully express their desire to end their psychotherapy when they reach this point.

On the other hand, when a negative version of the therapist has been internalised, and when this negative version is not being addressed by the person seeking help or by the therapist him/herself, as can occur during psychotherapy, it might be a good reason to stop psychotherapy and perhaps find a more suitable professional.

How will I know if I am with the right psychotherapist?

There are three things you should take into consideration when deciding whether or not the therapist you are seeing is right for you:

Safety: You should feel like you can be yourself and be honest without feeling judged.

Competence: Your psychotherapist should have at least a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and have gone through a psychotherapeutic process him/herself, as well as continuous supervision. You can ask about the skills, experience and expertise of the therapist(s) you choose to engage with.

Sense of connection: Your therapist should feel like a trusted ally and advisor, someone you look forward to seeing, even if it seems hard sometimes, depending on the specific topics and issues you discuss.

Here are three other ideas to think about as you determine if your current mental health therapist is the right fit for you:

Give your therapist three tries: It usually takes at least three sessions before you start to understand how your therapist can impact your life. At first, it may feel awkward to be in a remote psychotherapy process, or to reveal your thoughts, so give yourself time to get used to the experience. 

Listen to your gut: You may feel unsettled or feel that something is off when you are in therapy. If that happens, do not ignore that feeling. Listen to your instinct and talk to your therapist about it. Your therapist may be able to accommodate your needs. If your needs cannot be accommodated, you can part ways in a healthy and therapeutic way.
 

There are plenty of therapists out there: Give yourself time to search for the one you feel most comfortable with and explore the process. 

What is online psychotherapy?

Online therapy is basically the same as regular therapy, except it happens online instead of in an office. It is referred to as teletherapy or e-therapy.

Many studies[1] consistently highlight that online therapeutical processes can be very effective for many mental health issues and challenges. Since the Covid19 pandemic, most mental health professionals and psychotherapists progressively shifted to online counselling, making this new setting an effective and creative one that could replace, temporarily or permanently, traditional face-to-face psychotherapy settings.

The benefits of online therapy

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if you should transition to online therapy:
 
  • Your privacy is assured through our compliance with HIPAA laws and standards
     
  • There is no need to commute, saving you a great deal of time
     
  • You can stay in your comfortable leisure wear, without needing to dress up and go out
     
  • You can create your own comfortable environment
     
  • There is no need for you to be anyplace in particular – you can talk with your therapist wherever you want
     
  • There is no chance of running into someone that you know – either at the therapist’s office or outside the office
     
  • You can stay completely anonymous – you don’t have to turn your camera on nor use your real name
     
  • It is a safe, convenient and easy way to provide yourself with support. 

Start your online therapy journey

Our qualified psychologists can guide you through ways to deal with any challenges you may be facing. Select the one that is right for you.

Start now
 
[1] Studies published in the Journal of Affective Disorders; The journal of Psychological Disorders; Behaviour Research and Therapy; Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

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