Depressed? Suffering anxiety? Living a life of addictive behaviour … spending money, self-harming, overindulging in food, sex, gambling, alcohol, drugs? The list is endless.
If you are exploring or considering psychotherapy as a means towards improved mental health, this could be a great place to begin your expedition.
There are many options in the journey towards an improved life of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
The hope is that you will find here a frank and understandable insight into the world of psychotherapy through the eyes of a working psychotherapist. Follow me as I traverse the murky and often controversial territory of the differences between the many professions working in this field, including but not restricted to counselling, coaching, psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy.
Perhaps a good description of psychotherapy is that it is the attainment of our real self. As a result of the journey within the framework of ‘psychotherapy proper’, we become a Self – not simply thinking, feeling and behaving from archaic information gleaned and given in our early childhood.
While most descriptions of the Self refer to the conscious state of our being, in the context of psychotherapy we refer to the Self as a person who no longer operates from a conscious state without knowing aspects of how their unconscious feeds their every thought, feeling and behaviour.
Psychotherapy enables us to discover the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that we have absorbed unconsciously from our families as we grow from infancy to adolescence. This process begins at a very early stage, when we are, in fact, on autopilot. The role of psychotherapy is to dissect these thoughts, feelings and behaviours (locating the ones that are not useful, which is often difficult for us to discern on our own) so that we can live a life without those thoughts, feelings and behaviours, learned from that time, that are dysfunctional, or ‘contaminated’. As a result we become empowered and can operate with a clearer knowledge and control of ourselves and our behaviours.
As psychotherapist we are encouraged to develop a therapeutic relationship on which the client becomes dependent for predictability and consistent repairread more