Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for “talking therapies”. There are hundreds of these types of therapies which fall under the heading psychotherapy. For example, online counselling, existential therapy, cognitive behavioural and dialectical, to name just a few.
Even though they fall under the psychotherapy title they still possess their own unique psychological and philosophical understanding, their own way of delivering therapy to help the client.
Counselling face to face or counselling online is also a talking therapy similar to psychotherapy and there are many overlaps between the two. Some would argue that the two are indistinguishable as they both seem to be doing the same thing, however, this may be the case if observed by the lay person.
What does a counselling session involve?
Counselling sessions regardless of whether they are face to face or online counselling take around 60 minutes. In this time, you can talk openly about your concerns. In order to gain as much information as possible I will ask open questions about your problem, as well as probing questions if needed in order to build a picture.
Throughout this process, as your Counsellor, I will be empathic, non-judgmental and attentive so that you feel you can talk openly about your thoughts, feeling and emotions. Through this unique therapeutic relationship, I will also provide understanding, information, interpretations and act as an objective sounding board.
At times I may challenge what is being said if it conflicts with associated thoughts and feelings. Remember this time is your time to explore whatever you want so it is paramount that you ask questions, challenge me, share with me whatever you feel comfortable sharing. Everything is relevant.
One of the key components of success in therapy is the relationship between the client and the counsellor (this is called ‘therapeutic alliance’). Just like any successful relationship, in order for it to function optimally all the necessary ingredients have to be available. I am a firm advocate of this concept and will work to maintain this throughout your journey.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT also falls under the umbrella of psychotherapy and has become one of the most utilized forms of psychotherapy globally. CBT is a common-sense and time-limited treatment which focuses on present time issues. A core principle which runs through CBT is that an individual’s emotions and behaviour are influenced by their perceptions of any given situation. In essence, it is not the event, but rather the way they interpret the event.
How does CBT help
The majority of the sessions will be spent looking at how your cognitions (your thoughts), your behaviours (your actions) and your emotions are connected in the present. Once you begin to gain insight into why you think and act like you do, and at the same time leaning new ways of responding in the future, you will start to make positive change in your life.
Although CBT is mainly about right now and moving forwards, sometimes it’s helpful to look to the past to help us make sense of things, but always with the focus of how to move forward.
A short list of common issues that counselling and CBT deal with:
- Eating disorder
- Difficult life events
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Sleep issues
- Relationship issue
Please reach out if you want to discuss your concerns or if you are considering counselling or CBT.