What is psychotherapy?
Whether you’ve seen a therapist before or you are considering therapy for the first time, there are a wide variety of approaches, techniques, philosophies and therapists to choose from.
Reflecting Inner Experience
By having an open and safe space to discuss the depths of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, you can bounce your ideas off of another person and hear them reflected back to you within session. Articulating these aspects of your life leads to understanding them in different terms.
Therapy is a collaborative process. It is true that “one will get out of it what they put into it” – this means that by participating not just in-session but being mindful of aspects between meetings, writing down thoughts, completing “homework”, etc. – you will see changes in thought patterns as the process develops.
Shaping new outcomes
Often, people do things a certain way until it no longer works and then they are required to evaluate and choose new ways of doing things. This can include changing patterns, responding differently, setting boundaries, learning new skills and choosing new, more and adaptive responses.
What Makes Psychotherapy Effective?
This is one of the biggest questions in the field, and we don’t necessarily have one definitive answer. There are hundreds of different therapies, approaches, philosophies and theoretical orientations, but the evidence has shown that regardless of the specific technique, clients often see results, in many cases leading to feeling more positive and reducing symptoms of mental illness.
Effective therapy is due in large part to a strong working alliance between the therapist and the client. Ongoing openness and feedback throughout the process ensures that the work is moving in the client’s desired direction, and some assessments such as the Beck Anxiety or Depression Inventory or the PTSD Symptoms Checklist (PCL) can sometimes give an idea as to whether symptoms are beginning to improve.