Q? WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
A. Psychotherapy is a process in which a trained professional enters a relationship with a person for the purpose of helping the person with symptoms of the mind, which are interfering with their personal growth. The process involves the person and the therapist sitting in a room talking, and that is why it is sometimes referred to as being the “talking cure”.
Q? WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PSYCHOTHERAPY?
A. There are now a variety of therapeutic approaches. These include humanistic, gestalt, psychodynamic, behavioral, interpersonal and family approaches. Both individual and group therapy are commonly used, depending on the severity of the symptoms. (Patricia’s training through the Tivoli Institute is humanistic and integrative in approach, embracing person-centred, gestalt, psychodynamic, and other styles. The Tivoli Institute place particular emphasis on the trainee’s own personal development.)
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY?
A. Psychotherapy and counselling are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they are similar, there are some subtle differences as well.
Technically speaking, “counsellor” means “advisor”. It involves two people working together to solve a problem. It is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of advice giving. For example, financial planning and spiritual guidance are both types of counselling. Just about anyone at all may claim to be a counsellor if they are in the role of giving advice. The term counselling may also properly be used to refer to what occurs in a relationship with a psychotherapist.
In the contest of mental well being “counselling” is generally used to denote a relatively brief treatment that is focused most upon behavior. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation and offers suggestions and advice for dealing with it.
“Psychotherapy” on the other hand is generally a longer term treatment which focuses more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. It’s focus is on the client’s thought processes and way of being in the world rather than specific problems.
In actual practice there may be quite a bit of overlap between the two. A therapist may provide counselling with specific situations and a counselor may function in a psychotherapeutic manner. Generally speaking, however, psychotherapy requires more skill than simple counselling. It is conducted by professionals trained to practice psychotherapy such as a trained counsellor or psychotherapist or indeed a social worker. While a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counselling, a counsellor may or may not process the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy.
Q? HOW DO I CHOOSE A THERAPIST?
A. Psychotherapy can be time consuming, and an expensive process. You don’t want to waste money and effort on a therapist who won’t help you achieve results. The following tips will help you select a therapist who best meets your needs:-
Find someone who you are comfortable with. Although the therapy relationship is not a friendship, you will still get the best results if you trust your therapist and feel comfortable with him or her.
Enter into an agreement to meet for 6 sessions only. In that way you can opt out and change therapist without feeling compelled to continue in therapy with a therapist you do not quite feel comfortable with.
If you find yourself withholding information, you cheat yourself out of making real progress. Just like any relationship you and your therapist may not “click”. If you do not “click”, you owe it to yourself to seek another therapist.
Q? WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FIRST SESSION?
A. The initial session is for you and the therapist to get to know each other and get an idea where to proceed. Future visits will be more therapeutic in nature. Keep in mind that psychotherapy is a long term process so don’t expect any instant solutions to your problems on the very first day. Therapy is about equipping you with life – long solutions, rather than a quick fix.
During the first session, you will be asked about what bring you to therapy. You will be asked what you feel is wrong in your life, any symptoms you are experiencing and your history. History taking may cover such things as your childhood, education, relationships (family, romantic, friends). Confidentiality will be discussed, and any concerns you have about confidentiality can be aired at this time.
You will told about Galway Counselling’s policy regarding cancellation. The time and day will be agreed, plus the fee per session. Towards the end of the session you may be asked if you have any questions or concerns which you would like to ask the therapist
Q? WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
A. Sometimes in our lives we encounter events or issues, which we find difficult to cope with. They can happen suddenly or have been recurring for many years. These events or situations can cause anxiety, possibly fear and many seriously impact on the quality of our life. A person may see no way out, and feel totally isolated. Psychotherapy offers no magic solution. But it does offer the person a chance to talk and possibly begin to look at things in a different way. The therapist does not tell a client how to resolve issues, what the therapist does is to provide a safe space where the client can talk freely and reflect with the Therapist on the issues that have caused him or her to seek therapy.
Psychotherapy is for anyone who wants help during a difficult time or time of crisis. It can benefit anyone who is experiencing distress or dissatisfaction with their life or if someone is confused or has lost a sense of direction or purpose. Psychotherapy can help discover the reasons behind difficult feelings and help work out ways of dealing with them. It is a place for you to express feelings in a safe, supportive environment. The Psychotherapist can help you identify choices for the future that are realistic and workable for you. You may learn different ways of communicating with others so you can become more assertive and more self confident. It can be a valuable aid to personal growth and improve your sense of well being. A psychotherapist is trained to listen carefully and to support you during this time. This relationship between the psychotherapist and a Client is confidential and based on respect and trust. Often it is only when a person talks to someone unconnected with their lives that they begin to HEAR what they are REALLY saying and feeling.
Q. IS THERE A THERAPY CONTRACT?
A. I will normally spend some time in the first session to sort out the contract. At Galway Counselling we do not have a written contract, therefore, our contract is based on mutual respect without having a rigid code of practice to adhere to.
THE FOLLOWING IS NORMALLY AGREED WITH THE PERSON TO FORM THE CONTRACT:-
1. Weekly sessions.
2. Day of the week & Time is agreed.
3. Cancellations – a 48 hour notice is required if a person has to cancel their appointment. If possible, we try to facilitate the person by providing them with an alternative day and time. We also understand that people from time to time have emergency situations.