- Psychotherapy is often used with reference to a whole range of therapies, including
- , which I have talked about elsewhere on this site. Here we will focus on psychotherapy in terms of analytical therapy as opposed to more active therapies where you challenge very specific problems.
Psychoanalysis has a bad name!
Analytical therapies are out of fashion. Their grandfather, Freud, has been largely discredited and mocked by most modern psychologists. Treatment takes a significant amount of time and therefore results are hard to quantify with statistical analysis. The advent of SSRI drugs like prozac and citalopram have proved to be a cheaper, less troublesome option for the medical profession who have never really understood that drugs work on symptoms and not solutions. Also, CBT, which is great for simple phobias, has been overused on more complex issues where its results are less impressive (although it can still be useful).
All in all it seems that people stay in therapy for years, handing thousands of pounds to therapists that they come to rely on and never getting any better. This is definitely not always the case. There are some steps to help ensure successful therapy. Read on.
Is it right for me?
Obviously it is hard for anyone except you and a qualified, certified, impartial therapist to make that assessment. But I will offer my opinion. If you have a specific problem which is not suitable for CBT due to its complexity, or has not responded to CBT very well, then it is worth investigating.
Will it take years?
No therapist can tell you exactly how long you may need therapy for. When they know you, they may have a gut feeling which you can use as a guide. Certainly some people do get stuck in a therapy-trap where they just use their therapists as a sounding board and never really act on what they have learnt or move forward. If you don’t want to get into this trip you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and be prepared to make changes in your thoughts and actions. Therapy is not magic, you will hae to work for your results.
What happens during therapy?
There are so many different types and schools that that is an impossible answer. If your therapist is well qualified and certified by the relevant authority in your country, you should have no reason to fear. And the therapist should give you insight into how they work in an initial consultation before you decide whether they are right for you.
My advice would be to accept what you don’t understand and go with it. The mind’s working and communication are not logical and straight forward like conscious thought. Remember that.
Reader’s opinions of therapy would be greatly appreciated!