Q: What is therapy?

Therapy is a joint collaboration between therapist and client, in which both parties work towards resolving a problem which the client has presented with. The therapist assists the cleint in understanding the maladaptive patterns of relating that may be contributing to his problems. Therapy also assists individuals and couples in developing more adaptive coping skills.

Q: Who needs therapy?

Therapy can assist with a number of issues, it is important in cases with their is a physical component to your presenting problem, to first seek medical advice before embarking on psychotherapy.  Therapy is geared towards assisting anyone in psychological distress, who is unable to manage their current levels of distress.

Q: Do I need counselling?

This is a difficult question to answer and ultimately the decision rests with you. In general thoguh if you find that your problem is beginning to impact significantly on your interpersonal relationships or work functioning, it is a good idea to seek counselling. If your still unsure it may be better to see a psychotherapist for a session or contact us via e-mail and we will be able to give you some indication of whether you need counselling or another form of intervention

Q: How will the therapist help me get over my problem?

A: This is a frequent question that is posed by many clients at the beginning of their therapies. Typically in these cases the client wants to get rid of the presenting problem and one can understand this desire. The presenting problem however is regarded as a symptom of a much deeper issue and signals to the client and therapist that there is something much deeper feeling the need for the symptom to occur. The therapist’s task is to assist the client in the process of unpacking the various hidden meanings of a symptom. As such the therapeutic process is a joint collaboration between therapist and client.

Q: Will my therapist give me advice regarding my problems?

A: While there may be occasions upon which a therapist provides explicit advice to a client regarding a specific issue, the therapist task is to provide the Cl with a space to reflect upon themselves and develop insight into their relationships. As such the most prominent goal of therapy is to increase the client’s autonomy rather than encouraging a sense of dependency.

Q: How long will I have to stay in therapy?

A: This is often a difficult question to answer, particularly at the outset of treatment. The duration of therapy usually depends on the nature of the presenting problem. In the case of a clear precipitating event (i.e. trauma, bereavement, etc) it is more likely that the duration will be shorter, usually lasting six to twelve sessions. In the case of problems that are more vague or less defined with no clear precipitating event, it is likely that the duration will be longer particularly in cases where the problem is long-standing (i.e. eating disorders). The therapist typically sees the client once a week but in some cases may see the client twice a month.

Q: Will it help to tell my spouse to go?

A: In some cases it may be beneficial for a spouse to attend counselling, particularly in the case of relationship issues. If your spouse is unwilling to attend however it may help to spell out to them the fact that you need their support in your individual counselling and that the counselling is not intended to be punitive towards them. In general it is better for an individual to be responsible for making their own decision to enter therapy, but if you notice your spouse struggling it may helpful to suggest that they seek professional help.

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