Therapy is helpful if you have been struggling with certain issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, trauma, abuse, self-harm, loss and bereavement, or relationship patterns. It is also helpful if you have difficulties around meaning, identity, gender and sexuality.
However, therapy need not necessarily be about problems, as it also provides an opportunity for you to explore and to understand yourself better.
Psychotherapy or Counselling
The decision as to whether you undertake counselling or psychotherapy would revolve around a basic question: do you simply wish to feel stable again and to think about constructive and helpful ways forward, or do you also wish to consider what underlies your current problems and effect some fundamental changes?
Psychotherapist or Counsellor
The training and formation of the psychotherapist are longer than that of the counsellor, with an additional requirement that the psychotherapy trainee undergo his/her own personal therapy prior to, and throughout, the training process. It is often understood that the training of the psychotherapist prepares him/her to work with a greater complexity of issues and at a greater depth, over a longer period of time; the aim of the therapeutic work being to effect fundamental psychic change in the person. The counsellor may work in a different way, at a lesser depth and the work might be for a shorter period of time; the focus of the work might be more issue and solution oriented than that of psychotherapy.
Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy
We often think, feel, behave and experience in ways that we are not always aware, or conscious, of. By increasing awareness of this through the therapeutic relationship, it is then possible to work through troubling issues or patterns. The relationship between the past and the present are carefully considered, allowing the future to be approached with self-understanding.
Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical psychotherapy are particular forms of psychotherapy, which give priority to unconscious psychological processes. Treatment consists of making the unconscious conscious, through a consideration of the therapeutic relationship, amongst other things, and in working through issues that arise. This approach benefits from a greater frequency of sessions per week.