Let’s start by answering the question
What is psychotherapy?
A collection of techniques and methods aimed at overcoming various mental health problems by psychological means.
In order to understand how psychotherapy works, you can see it as a process. Or a road that you’re on with the expert – a licenced psychotherapist.
A road on which your objective is to develop your own personality and to overcome your problems. Whether they are temporary or have been weighing down on you for a long time.
Some people choose psychotherapy because their aim is to cope better with stress that life invariably brings, or because they wish to get additional motivation for themselves.
Others are facing love-related problems, e.g. they may think they’re in a toxic relationship. Or they’re not happy with their careers and the business relationships that they have built. They are struggling with difficulties in the workplace.
Some have psychosomatic or eating disorders.
Others struggle to find meaning – they feel empty and lost.
Some come in to resolve a problem that keeps bothering them.
Others face long-standing mental issues such as panic attacks, depression, or phobias.
So how does psychotherapy work?
How does it succeed in helping all these different groups of people, with different problems and questions bothering them?
More than anything else, psychotherapy is called therapy by conversation. This conversation isn’t the kind of everyday conversation you have with a friend. It has a highly specific structure. The psychotherapist takes you through the conversation using their knowledge of how to hold it.
It is therefore not important if the psychotherapist has had the same experiences in life. You will nonetheless be surprised by the amount of understanding that you will receive, as well as by the readiness and ability to help you in your specific situation.
In choosing psychotherapy sessions (whether you need psychotherapy online or onsite), do bear the following in mind… It is important for you to have an understanding with your therapist, and for them to explain in advance how psychotherapy works and what you can expect in this process.
Some of the ways in which psychotherapy helps
The results of psychotherapy are measurable and quite tangible – although they are psychological in nature. The main factor of change is the therapeutic alliance itself, i.e. your relationship with the psychotherapist. Also important are the insights that we get in therapy, as are the new learnings, including recognizing and going through our emotions.
We are better equipped to face reality and – to paraphrase Irvin Yalom – give up the hope for a better past.
During a conversation (no matter if you have psychotherapy sessions online or onsite), the psychotherapist listens closely to the client and helps them express all that is weighing on their mind. However difficult it may be to say certain things.
The therapist asks questions that the client may not have remembered on their own. They point out inconsistencies and places where the client sabotages or deludes themselves. At the same time, they empathize with the client’s state of mind. They help the client find a solution which is aligned with their authentic values and being.
After a while, the relationship the psychotherapist has with the client becomes salutary as psychotherapy is a space in which you can express your thoughts and opinions without judgement. This nurturing relationship will help you rearrange other relationships in your life which you thought weren’t functioning well.
You will come to understand your virtues and flaws. You will notice patterns in your life more clearly, as well as their disruptive impact on you. In this way, you will be better equipped to change them.
A better understanding of your past will result in better responses in the future.
Following on from this, you will be able to rely more on your improved capacities for coping with life’s challenges. You will learn how to live by your own rules and standards. Needless to say, with more respect from others as well.
Another equally important advantage of psychotherapy is that you will go through your unexperienced emotions. You will learn how to express them more easily, appropriately, and freely, so that they are less disruptive in your life.
Which kind of psychotherapy is the best?
There is no simple answer to this question. What you should know is that there are different schools of psychotherapy, also referred to as therapeutic modalities. They are very similar in terms of the effects they have on improving one’s condition. They are only different in terms of the ways in which these results are achieved.
The success of therapy will depend for the most part on the motivation of the client, on the psychotherapist and, to a lesser degree, on the techniques, i.e. the orientation of the psychotherapist.
Therefore, techniques are not essential. Even though as someone coming in for therapy, you might feel that they are crucial.
For example, psychoanalytic psychotherapy and humanistic psychotherapy – including Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis, and psychodrama – embrace the traditional approach based on conversation.
Other modalities focus on setting specific exercises from one psychotherapy session to the next. Such modalities include cognitive therapies – rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT).
Behavior therapies – biofeedback, systematic desensitisation, flooding, and aversion therapy – focus on behavior modification.
Very important: how do you choose a psychotherapist?
In a sea of schools and ads on offer online and on social media, you should know how to choose the one that’s right for you. First of all, decide on whether you would choose psychotherapy online or onsite.
There are different professional associations of psychotherapists. A medical doctor at your local health center can also give you a recommendation.
Another important way to find a therapist is to ask a family member or a friend for a recommendation, if they have been in psychotherapy.
As psychotherapy is a process that can take some time, it is important to make sure your chosen psychotherapist is the right one. You should find out if a particular psychotherapist has a license for this line of work, as well as to have a chat with him or her regarding their qualifications and work conditions.
Keep in mind
Find a person that suits you and who you trust.
And another thing regarding your further relationship with the therapist that we believe should be pointed out…
Due to the very nature of the psychotherapeutic process, you may develop various sorts of feelings for your therapist. You may get angry or furious at them. You may feel disappointed, or something along these lines. What’s important is that you should talk to them about this. Don’t let this be the reason for changing therapists, as you might find yourself in a vicious circle of searching for an ideal person to help you.
Bear in mind that no one is ideal. Try to find a therapist who is good enough for you.
A knowledgeable psychotherapist will take such an opportunity to help you keep working on yourself.
How long does psychotherapy last?
A psychotherapy session usually lasts between 40 and 60 minutes. As regards the process itself, multiple factors are at play.
How long psychotherapy lasts will depend for the most part on the objectives that you have set and agreed with your therapist. Most commonly, it lasts anywhere between several months and a few years.
However, there are differences between the modalities here. As it is geared towards changing a specific behavior, behavior therapy can have 10 to 20 sessions. Its clear objective and narrower scope of action allow for a change to take place even sooner.
When it comes to transactional analysis or Gestalt psychotherapy, it can last up to two years, and in rare cases even longer.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is considered the most profound, so its objectives are less specific. As a result, psychotherapy can last several years.
How long psychotherapy lasts depends for the most part on your readiness to work and change.
Other things are at play as well: how self-reflective you are and how prone to introspection; your personal motivation; and readiness to work with the therapist.
Due to all these factors, the therapist won’t be able to provide a more precise answer in the beginning.
We recommend patience and waiting for the moment when your therapist is able to provide more information in this regard.
Circling back to the beginning: psychotherapy is a process. It has a noble goal – to free you from the burden and help you move through life more easily and with less pressure.
Make the first step.
Book an appointment on 069/3088-090, 069/3088-091 (mobile or Viber/WhatsApp).