How does therapy work?
Many clients feel unsure at the prospect of starting therapy. Rest assured, it's perfectly natural to feel somewhat apprehensive at the idea of talking frankly to a complete stranger about what's on your mind.
It might help to know nearly all counsellors and psychotherapists have undergone their own personal therapy and they really understand how it can feel to be sitting there on your chair.
Although it works slightly differently depending on whether you're in counselling or psychotherapy, all therapy tends to work on the principle of exploring what's on your mind and what's having an impact on your life.
When you begin therapy at Pathways Psychotherapy and Counselling in Brighton & Hove, we will discuss your goals for therapy and agree time-points for review.
We will also talk about important issues like client confidentiality, contact in between sessions, fees and missed appointments.
Therapy can be difficult to describe. Each piece of work is as unique as you are.
At its most fundamental, it involves a supportive, meaningful discussion centred around your needs.
All you need to do to be 'in therapy' is attend at your agreed time and to concentrate on your thoughts, feelings, body and behaviour.
Your therapist, in turn, will pay attention to the same, and offer you their fullest attention and willingness to engage with you and the issues in your life.
They will support you emotionally and help you to discover more about yourself and feel better about living the life you have.
They can help you to discover innate healing processes which can provide you with symptomatic relief.
Counselling and psychotherapy are different
Counselling tends to be a slightly shorter-term therapy focussing on dealing with a specific problem happening right now, such as a bereavement, separation, family problem or an issue with work.
Being provided with a space to explore what's troubling you and feeling fully heard and witnessed by someone who cares deeply about what you're saying is a powerful experience that can promote profound healing.
Psychotherapy is usually a deeper, longer-term therapy.
This is because it takes time for more entrenched issues or ingrained problems to surface, be recognised, then helpfully processed within the dynamic, fully interactive therapeutic system of psychotherapy.
You are a multi-faceted and complex individual, much more than merely the sum of your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and ideas about yourself and the world.
In psychotherapy, you will tune into many parts of yourself and listen, together with your therapist, to a few of the key narratives you've been telling yourself about you without even realising.
Perhaps you've been struggling with anxiety, feelings of depression or despair or you feel you're in need of some advice about a relationship or family problem.
When you discover fresh things about yourself and find ways of sharing these with an attuned, skilful therapist, the experience feels poignant and transformative.
Exploring your lifeworld in this way helps to decipher and alleviate many enduring symptoms and concerns you're currently living, enabling you to live your life with a greater sense of freedom, self-compassion and possibility.
Whichever type of therapy you choose, it will be tailored it to fit you and your specific needs.
There is no 'one size fits all' approach with counselling or psychotherapy, and your therapist will be guided by you and how you're feeling about the work at every turn, ready to make any adjustments you require in order to get the most out of therapy.
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