Psychotherapy and clinical Counselling can assist you with a wide variety of mental health and emotional challenges.
The process can help eliminate or manage troubling symptoms so you can function better, increase your well-being, and recover.
Problems helped by psychotherapist and clinical counsellor include difficulties in coping with daily life, the impact of trauma, medical illness, or loss, like the death of a loved one; and specific mental health issues, like depression or anxiety. I apply a variety different types of counselling approaches, and some may work better with specific problems or issues.
Psychotherapy and counselling can be conducted with individuals, families, couples, or groups, and can help both children and adults. Sessions are typically held once a week for about 60 minutes.
Both the client and psychotherapist/counsellor need to be actively involved in the process for the best outcomes. The trust and working relationship between a client and their psychotherapist/counsellor are essential for the process to be effective and beneficial.
Psychotherapy and counselling can be short-term (a few sessions), dealing with immediate issues, or long-term (months), dealing with longstanding and complex issues. The goals of treatment and how often they meet is planned jointly by both the client and psychotherapist/counsellor.
Confidentiality is a fundamental requirement of the process. Clients share personal feelings and thoughts in a safe environment.
Psychotherapy and counselling addresses challenges such as difficulties in coping with daily life, the impact of trauma, medical illness, or loss, like the death of a loved one; and specific mental disorders, like depression or anxiety. There are several different types of psychotherapy and counselling. Some types may work better with particular problems or issues. Psychotherapy and counselling may be combined with medication prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist.
Below are six key findings from over ninety psychotherapy and counselling studies. These findings showcase the importance of the qualities of the helping professional:
Have a safe and private place to talk about sensitive personal issues.
Better understand mental health symptoms and diagnosis.
Become informed about additional effective treatment options.
Reduce or eliminate the impacts of depression and anxiety.
Reduce and manage negative or destructive thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Understand and process effects of traumatic events.
Work through addiction issues and reduce or eliminate drugs, tobacco and alcohol use.
Reduce impulses and actions of self-harm or aggression.
Plan for crises to ensure safety and reduce risk of harm.
Learn effective coping skills to manage difficult situations.
Improve sleep, nutrition and physical activity patterns.
Establish new healthy and supportive behaviors and habits.
Have more satisfying relationships at home, school or work by understanding yourself better.
Learn to be more mindful, less stressed and more relaxed.
Become more confident and at ease in social situations.
Understand personal values and how to live in accord with them.
Learn about self-help and community resources and supports.
Become an empathetic and supportive caregiver or advocate for others.
Improve overall physical and mental health and wellness.
Research shows that most people who receive psychotherapy and counselling experience symptom relief and are better able to function in their lives. About 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy and counselling show some benefit from it (American Psychological Association (2016). psychotherapy and counselling has been shown to improve emotions and behaviors and to be linked with positive changes in the brain and body. The benefits also include fewer sick days, less disability, fewer medical problems, and increased work satisfaction.
With the use of brain imaging techniques, researchers have been able to see changes in the brain after a person has undergone psychotherapy and counselling. Numerous studies have identified brain changes in people with mental illness (including depression, panic disorder, PTSD, and other conditions) as a result of undergoing psychotherapy and counselling. In most cases, the brain changes resulting from psychotherapy and counselling were similar to changes resulting from medication (Karlsson, 2011).
To help get the most out of psychotherapy and counselling, approach the process as a collaborative effort, be open and honest, and follow your agreed-upon recovery plan. The more the client engages in the process, the more likely there will be positive outcomes.
Work on areas of yourself and your life that you don't find satisfying.
Move beyond remembering and understanding to applying learnings in a safe space.
Practice what you learn through psychotherapy and counselling so you can change at a deeper level.
Develop skills for improving relationships.
Psychotherapy and counselling is a safe space to work through sensitive issues that help you gain perspective.
Once you are comfortable with your new abilities, you can begin to use them in your life to achieve lasting positive change in your life.
Work with your psychotherapist and counsellor to change in the ways you believe are best for you.
Your growing self-awareness will boost your confidence and set you up for future success.
Become aware of your blind spots and mental health issues.
The process of building personal awareness will empower you to make powerful and lasting positive life changes.
Psychotherapy and counselling offer unique and insightful one-on-one feedback, along with lots of support and encouragement.
Gain a clearer understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values.
Create a new way of looking at challenging issues and move towards effective solutions.
American Psychological Association (2016). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works.
Karlsson, H. (2011). How Psychotherapy changes the Brain. Psychiatric Times.
Wiswede D, et al. (2014). Tracking Functional Brain Changes in Patients with Depression under Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Using Individualized Stimuli. PLoS ONE.