The way I practice psychotherapy involves:
- a longer contract than counselling, (over 20 sessions), or…
- an open-ended contract, (where the client terminates when they feel the need).
Psychotherapy, compared to counselling, involves a deeper focus on self-exploration, self-understanding and working through of long-standing issues rather than temporary life problems.
Where some issues may be resolved within a few months often clients commit to work lasting several years.
One area psychotherapy is beneficial in is:
- In exploring and resolving enduring and problematic patterns and themes in the client’s life. Often these patterns are related to early developmental relationships or various strong/traumatic experiences in one’s past which have not been processed or resolved.
These enduring patterns and themes could be at the heart of experiences of:
- Anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
- Difficulties forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
- Legacies of trauma and abuse.
- Unresolved grief and loss.
- Difficulties with addictive behaviours.
- Unexplained somatic/psycho-physiological complaints.
- Issues of sexuality and gender.
Working with the above issues in psychotherapy often involves creating a trusting and safe relationship which may take some time to cultivate between client and therapist.
A second area psychotherapy can be beneficial in is:
- As a space to explore the possibilities for a deeper connection to life, to exploring continuous growth and to living more creatively.
In my psychotherapy practice I also work with clients on more growth and self-actualization concerns such as:
- Exploration of life-purpose and meaning in life.
- Deepening exploration of self-understanding.
- Accessing creativity.
- Engaging and deepening conscious relationships.
- Supporting optimal health and life-style changes.
- Exploring the mind-body relationship and how to live a more embodied life with greater vitality, intention and presence.
- The integration of spiritual/transpersonal concerns into all facets of one’s life.
HERE is a link to a brief article I wrote about the difference between counselling and psychotherapy.