Psychotherapy vs. Counselling
― William Gibson, Zero History
There are so many approaches to talking therapy, and even more ways one can go about accessing the support. Because I believe that each person has their own individual needs and preferences in how to engage in the process, as a therapist, I think it is important to adapt to those needs.
There is no one size fits all in the therapeutic process.
Sometimes it might be difficult to open up and talk about painful problems and difficulties we are facing in our lives. This is why forming a meaningful relationship with the therapist is in my view the fundamental condition to successful treatment. Whether it is a short-term frame therapy, referred to as counselling, or a long-term or open-ended therapy, that we call psychotherapy, the relationship between the therapist and the client will be the driving force towards change.
Length and frequency of therapy will vary, in my experience, therapy can be effective when sessions take place on weekly basis. During our first consultation we will be able to discuss your needs and preferences. Esentially, mutual agreement and clear communication of the wanted change (if known) and how we plan to get there, has proven to be a very effective way of setting the therapeutic framework.
The talking cure
Counselling is focus based, usually entails cognitive-behavioral level of change. This means that we would be exploring your behavior or ways of thinking, that you don't find helpful. For cognitive-behavioral outcome we would need between 12 and 24 sessions of intense focused work. The goal of treatment will be measurable, something observable would have changed in the way you behave, think about self, others and the world.
Psychotherapy can be cognitive-behavioral treatment as well, however, it will tend to last longer and quite often change in nature. Which means that after a period of therapy, it would shift towards more existential, exploratory form of enquiry. This happens because of a natural tendency of human development, once we have mastered our symptoms and gained the freedom of choice, we become increasingly more interested in questions that are transcendental in nature.
How do I choose the 'right' treatment that will help me with my problem?
In clinical perspective, there is no such thing as the right treatment. What I believe counts in psychotherapy is the right therapist. A person that is not judgemental, that can listen empathically, and adapt the style of relating to the client's particular way of relating.
Through this process of building the relationship, where you can feel safe and understoiod, the 'right' treatment for you emerges. Again, I believe that psychotherapy is not a prescriptive method, it is a delicate balance, that is formed over time and with the engagement of all subjectivities involved in therapy.