Throughout our lives, we face many new challenges. At times, we
may find ourselves feeling so overwhelmed that our usual ways of
coping are no longer working. Giving yourself the gift of
psychotherapy is a proactive step in the management of life’s
pressures. Therapy can be a life-enhancing experience. It can help
you become more self-aware and give you the tools and skills you
need to make lasting change in your life. Psychotherapy is a
collaboration between you and your therapist to focus on your
concerns and work towards your goals.
Research suggests that up to 50% of people find significant
improvement in their problem area after only eight sessions.
Psychotherapy can be delivered to individuals, couples, families
and groups. There are a variety of psychotherapeutic styles, such
as psychoanalysis, family therapy, brief therapy, sex therapy, art
therapy, cognitive-beahvioural therapy and emotionally-focused
therapy, to name a few.
Also, a range of techniques can accompany psychotherapy,
including hypnosis, EMDR and body work.
Sorting through the wide variety of psychotherapeutic styles and techniques can be a daunting and expensive task. However, making sure there is a good fit between yourself and your therapist is the best way to ensure a satisfying outcome.
Most psychotherapists draw on more than one perspective and will use various techniques, depending on your needs. Psychotherapists come from various professions. For example, they can be social workers, psychologists, professional counselors, or psychiatrists. In most cases, psychotherapists are educated at the masters (MA, MSW, MSc) or doctoral level (PhD, PsyD, DSW).
Making sure that your psychotherapist is a member in good standing with a professional association ensures that they have met the training and educational requirements necessary to practice their profession.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you start the therapy
Research has shown that when the client and therapist agree on the
problem areas and how therapy can help, the overall outcome is much improved.
The process of therapy is two-way, that is, both client and therapist
have to work to get results. Try to give some thought to what you
would like to explore before each session.
To maintain a good working relationship, be clear with your
therapist about your expectations and be sure to mention any
concerns that come up during therapy. Remember that it is okay to
ask questions so that you clearly understand the service you are
Be sure to review your goals and progress with your therapist
occasionally to ensure that your work is going in the right direction.
Sometimes changes in goals occur as you work through the issues
you started with.
Remember, therapy is work. There will be times when you feel good
after a session and others when you do not feel as good. When
therapy gets challenging, it is a sign of progress.