What is Psychotherapy and Who is it For?

by | Jul 1, 2015 | Health

Although the awareness and acceptance of common mental health issues continues to rise, many people still see undergoing any type of psychotherapy as taboo.

Unlike physical health problems, there’s often a stigma attached to mental health issues that prevents people from seeking help. Some may think that counselling or is only for those with serious issues, or those who are mentally weak. Others may believe it should be possible to overcome the issues by themselves; to just snap out of them.

A lack of understanding or sympathy from family and friends can also dissuade those who could benefit from counselling to seek the help they need.

In truth, psychotherapy is a practical tool that should not be stigmatized. Far from being exclusively for those with severe issues, it’s a technique that could help many to achieve an improved state of mental health for the long term.

Understanding what psychotherapy is, who candidates for counselling are, and how to find a trustworthy counsellor are the first steps to finding out whether you could benefit from therapy yourself.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy sessions should take place in a private environment where the client can feel comfortable opening up to the counsellor and know the conversations cannot be overheard by anyone.

During these sessions, the client is encouraged to express their emotions and feelings, with the aim being to begin to see things more clearly and possibly from a different point of view. This shift in perspective can then help the client to identify their own solutions to their problems.

Counselling should not be judgmental and the counsellor is not there to simply give advice or attempt to solve the client’s problems for them. When using counselling services, your counsellor will always remain neutral and should never look at your problem from their own perspective or simply encourage you to act in a way they themselves would in a similar situation.

Who is psychotherapy for?

Anyone whose life is negatively affected by mental or emotional challenges can benefit from sessions with a psychotherapist.

Commonly treated issues include mood and anxiety disorders, marriage and relationship difficulties, or intimacy and infertility issues. Workplace stress, addiction or substance abuse and eating disorders can also be tackled, while victims of physical or sexual abuse or those going through periods of low self-esteem, grief and loss, parenting challenges, and child behavioral or educational difficulties can also benefit from counselling services.

None of the issues described above discriminate and sufferers may be from any social or racial background. No matter the circumstances or situation of the individual, psychotherapy is there to help improve the life of anyone who suffers from any mental or emotional issues and should be approached without social stigmas or with the sense of it being taboo.

How to find your psychotherapist

If you’re looking for clinical psychologists to help you through your own mental or emotional issues, ensuring they are registered with the College of Psychologists and experienced is a base requirement.

Just as important as their credentials is their compatibility with your personality and needs, and you will have to use a combination of research and intuition to find the right therapist for you.

Asking friends and family for any personal recommendations is a good place to start. Consider such factors as age and gender of your ideal psychologist, and check the photographs on their website to see if they look professional.

If their pictures are giving the right message, the next step is to call them. Breaking the ice in this way helps you to get a feel for whether they are the right counsellor for you. Use your intuition, gut-feeling, and instinct.

Making first contact with a professional and experienced psychotherapist is the first step on the road to an improved mental and emotional state for the long term.

Dr. Linda Johnston and her team are registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario and highly experienced in providing psychotherapy and counselling services. Visit them online to schedule an appointment at website.

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