We all have our ups and downs in life. Sometimes there is an easy solution and talking to friends and family is enough for you to move forward. Other times, it can be helpful to talk to someone who is not involved in your social circles and who can offer a non-biased and professional look on what you’re struggling with.
Talking to a friend or family member usually involves a two way conversation where both parties discuss their experiences and try to find a solution to the problem. In therapy, the focus lies solely on you, your experiences, and your inner feelings and emotions. The purpose of therapy is not to “fix” you, but to create a different mindset or perspective so that you have a way to move forward from feeling stuck.
What Is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the use of psychotherapeutic methods to explore feelings, to identify issues that cause you mental distress, and process traumatic or upsetting memories. Psychotherapy offers a safe place to discuss confidential issues and thoughts, and develop strategies and techniques to work with a person’s internal emotional struggles.
All our therapists are trained and licensed professionals specifically trained to understand and navigate through emotional troubles and identify patterns of thoughts and behaviour.
A typical therapy session takes 60 minutes and will include discussing different coping skills and techniques. There may be homework assignments to practice and implement what has been discussed during the session. At Private Matters Psychotherapy our therapists adopt an integrative approach to therapy, meaning that we use a combination of different talk therapies to create a style that meets the needs of the client.
Are There Different Types Of Psychotherapy?
There are many different types of psychotherapies and each has their own approach. In a typical therapy session, a combination of these therapies may be used to help the client reach their therapy goals, depending on the training of the therapist. The therapies used at Private Matters Psychotherapy include :
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT works on the basis that we all have thoughts, emotions, physical sensations in our body, and actions that can be interpreted in different ways and affect how we see ourselves and the world around us. It is a problem-specific and goal-oriented approach to psychotherapy that involves a structured session outline and homework assignments. Exposure therapy is a component of CBT that is highly effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders and phobias.
Acceptance And Commitment Therapy
ACT is a third-generation CBT, meaning that it integrates components of CBT with more mindfulness-based techniques. This allows for a wider approach where therapy is not only focused on interpreting a person’s thoughts and behaviours, but also allows for the integration of grounding techniques to work towards psychological flexibility.
This style of therapy helps people to become the experts in their own lives by working on their personal stories and the meaning they give to their personal narratives. The goal of narrative therapy is not to change or fix the person, rather transfer their relationship to internal struggles. It seeks to create space between the person and what they are facing in order to develop a different perspective to deal with the problem.
Internal Family Systems
IFS assumes that a person cannot be understand as a sole-entity and therefor focuses on the role of the community or family unit. By creating an understanding how different parts function as a system, the influence on other people and the interaction between systems, this type of therapy is effective in uncovering the root causes of behavioural patterns and emotions.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
CPT is an effective psychotherapy for working with trauma and PTSD, as well as other mental health issues. It combines the exposure element in CBT and a person’s narrative of their trauma in order to identify stuck points and errors in thinking.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
DBT is a type of CBT originally intended to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, and has since been adapted to treat a range of mental health disorders. The idea behind DBT is to develop a range of strategies that allow a person to live in the moment and to tune into what is happening on the inside. The focus lies on developing a non-judgemental attitude towards thoughts and feelings.
Does Psychotherapy Work?
Yes it does, although the following elements will improve therapy effectiveness:
- Willingness and motivation
The only person responsible for internal change is you. Therapy is intensive and difficult at times, however the results can be long lasting when you put in the time and effort. It is a little like learning to ride a bike, just talking about it can give you an idea of what to do, but putting things into practice is where the real growth takes place.
- Open and genuine conversations
Therapy involves talking about personal issues that you may or may not have discussed with anyone else before. Your therapist only knows what you tell them, therefore being open and honest in your sessions is important.
- Connection with your therapist
Coming to therapy can be scary, you know we are not only going to talk about your upcoming vacation or how your morning coffee tasted. Having a connection with the person you confide in is vital to the effectiveness of therapy. At Private Matters Psychotherapy we therefor take we offer you a calming and inviting setting, and we take our time to get to know each other.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
It is difficult to say how many sessions a person needs as it depends on so many factors.
Therapy does not follow a one-size-fits-all rule and the length of a treatment plan depends on the therapeutic methods used, what the person comes to therapy for, and whether the person has a supportive network.