Psychotherapy is often a treatment selected for those suffering from minor to medium levels of depression or anxiety. When choosing a psychotherapist as your chosen therapy specialist in helping you with your challenge, it is likely you have many questions. Questions about what to expect and have some apprehension if using a psychotherapist is new to you. We at Seek a Therapy want to help answer your questions and concerns surrounding psychotherapy. We hope it helps you to select the right Psychotherapist for you and on this page, we have included some of the most common questions lots of people may have before treatment.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a type of therapy used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions.
Psychotherapy involves talking to a qualified and trained therapist. Either one to one, in a group or with your significant other/family. Psychotherapy shines a light on your problems in order to delve deeper into your problems and worries and study learnt habits. It is often the case psychotherapy usually involves talking but sometimes you can use art, music, drama and movement.
Psychotherapy gives you a safe, confidential place to be able to discuss your feelings that you have about a range of issues. From family, your perception of other people and anything relating to your particular situation.
What to Expect From Psychotherapy
A Psychotherapist is a mental health professional who is trained to listen to a person’s problem. Once the problem is understood, they then aid in helping to find a solution. Usually, a psychotherapist will have a very comfortable space where you can rest, feel at ease and share and discuss your situation in a very secure and private environment.
Psychotherapists work with varying types of people, with varying backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and problems and thus are never going to be judging you, they’ve heard everything and are there to help you as much as possible.
Initially, in your first session with your therapist, you will most likely, discuss your problem. Further to this, they then begin to suggest strategies and techniques that will help you to challenge your own attitudes and behaviours that are causing you particular problems.
Depending upon the psychotherapist you choose, it is known that some therapists teach skills to help tolerate painful emotions, improve your behaviour and if necessary manage relationships more effectively. It is sometimes the case that after some time with a psychologists strategies you will be encouraged ( with the support of your therapist) to also develop your own solutions.
Every single time you work with a professionally accredited psychotherapist they will treat your sessions as confidential meaning. Meaning if you want to share information that may cause you embarrassment or discomfort it, will never leave the therapy room. You can rest assured your problem is only between you and your therapist.
Some psychotherapists work in group sessions as well as individually and in this situation, people with similar problems will advise and support one another through their problems ( you do not need to take part in group therapy, it is a choice that some psychotherapists provide).
What Is The Difference Between Psychotherapy And Counselling?
Many people get confused about the difference between psychotherapy and counselling. Many often wonder whether there is a difference at all. The counsellors’ guide suggests that counsellors are usually therapists that offer similar services of talking in a secure environment. The differences focus around behavioural patterns, whereas a psychotherapist may delve deeper into emotional problems and difficulties through various means as previously mentioned.
Counselling usually refers to a brief treatment that centres around behaviour patterns. Psychotherapy focuses on working with clients for a longer-term and draws from insight into emotional problems and difficulties.
Below is a shortlist of differences between counselling and psychotherapy from The Counsellors which may help you in choosing the right therapist for you.
- Helps people identify problems and crises and encourages them to take positive steps to resolve these issues.
- It is the best course of therapeutic treatment for anyone who already has an understanding of wellbeing.
- Counselling is a short-term process that encourages the change of behaviour.
- Helps people with psychological problems that have built up over the course of a long period of time.
- It will help you understand your feelings, thoughts and actions more clearly.
- Psychotherapy is a longer-term process of treatment that identifies emotional issues and the background to problems and difficulties.
How Can Psychotherapy Help Ease My Depression?
Psychotherapy can help ease common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy helps you to identify your illness, your feelings and life issues surrounding it. Often, you will raise issues of your past that will help you focus on things in the present and aid in building resilience for future challenges that may arise.
- Understand your illness
- Define and reach wellness goals
- Overcome fears or insecurities
- Cope with stress
- Make sense of past traumatic experiences
- Separate your true personality from the mood swings caused by your illness
- Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
- Improve relationships with family and friends
- Establish a stable, dependable routine
- Develop a plan for coping with crises
- Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
- End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex.
How Much Does A Typical Psychotherapy Session Cost?
If you are based in the UK you can ask your GP for help with a psychotherapist on the NHS but often there is a wait. If this is the case then you can go private ( and we have several psychotherapists in our directory in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia). Costs range from £40/$50 per session and sometimes can go up to £150/$200. It can occasionally be more depending upon the therapist’s experience, speciality and location.
How Do I Know Which Psychotherapist To Choose?
Your GP will often have several accredited psychotherapists that they can point you in the direction of. But even if they do, and you feel that the therapist isn’t right for you, then it is completely fine to find a new specialist.
One of the most important parts of psychotherapy is the relationship between yourself and the therapist. It is important to be able to trust and open up about all your thoughts and feelings in order to be able to work on them.
When you find the right psychotherapist for you, over time, you will be able to challenge and potentially change your thoughts, beliefs and perceptions.
How Long Will It Take To Help?
You will meet your therapist regularly, usually once a week, for several months, or sometimes even years. Individual sessions last about 50 minutes, but group sessions are often a bit longer.
At the beginning, you are likely to see your therapist more often. Later, as you learn to manage your problems and avoid triggers, you might go to psychotherapy appointments less often.
What If I Don’t Feel It Doesn’t Work For Me?
First of all, don’t worry!
If you think psychotherapy is the right therapy but you have the wrong therapist that’s ok. You have every right to seek a second opinion and you will not offend your therapist. They just want you to find the help you deserve to feel better. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel psychotherapy is working at all then do not be disheartened. There are many, many different types of therapy to heal from depression and psychotherapy is only one. Use our therapy directory to find a different therapy, you may find hypnotherapy works better or possibly some holistic treatment. The key is not to think this is your only option.
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Please note: This information should not replace professional medical advice, it is purely for informational purposes. At all times when you are in crisis please first seek help from your GP or another medical professional. Thank you