Therapy problems

Whilst counselling and psychotherapy can be of great help to many, there will be times when it may be unhelpful, inappropriate or not possible.

However when it is needed, please do not be held back by any worries about having to ask for help -

'I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me,” he said. “Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bulls**t. It helps.”

Hamm’s definitely correct. Therapy sessions can be vital to emotional well-being. Studies suggest seeing a therapist can positively rewire the brain, help people cope with stress and manage severe mental health disorders.

"Medical attention is medical attention whether it’s for your elbow or for your teeth or for your brain."'

Jon Hamm

Is Therapy The Best Option?

The stress and tension from past trauma can be held in the body, leading to psychosomatic complaints. However, in all and any cases where there are physical symptoms the first person to see would be a competent medical practitioner such as your G.P. They may well suggest going to a therapist as part of your treatment and you are of course entitled to do so anyway, but please, don't rely on therapy (of any sort) alone.

Counselling and therapy focus on helping you make changes for yourself. We don't (and shouldn't) tell you what to do, and although there are therapists who are also coaches this is a different skill.

If your concern is simply a general level of stress, options such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga and Tai Chi may be enough, all have found to be helpful by different people at different times - and combined with a short course of therapy they can be very powerful indeed.

Are You Ready?

Whilst the benefits from successful therapy can be very powerful, the process can be painful at times, requires commitment and takes time. How long? An extensive survey (citation and details available) found that the average number of sessions was six, my experience so far would put the number slightly higher. Some deep and long term issues may take deep and long term sensitive work to address.

Are you looking for therapy because you want to, or is to please someone else? If you have been put under pressure to come than that will be a problem to address. 

The Right Therapy?

The source of the survey above found that regardless of whatever discipline practitioners trained in, after a while it was quite hard to tell what this was as they ended up working the same way. There are differences though, for example some prefer the classic set up of cartoons with a client lying on a couch and the therapist out of sight behind them whilst most use a relaxed face to face approach. Don't be afraid to ask exactly how they work, what the general aims and structure of sessions are - and about anything else that interests or concerns you.

For the record, I trained in Transactional Analysis, a Humanistic that treats clients and therapists as equal. There are many details here, but please give me a call if you would like to know more. 

The Right Therapist?

Just as disciplines vary, so do the therapists. Do you feel happy, relaxed and confident with the one you have chosen, will they let you come along for a free session first to make sure you can work together? If in doubt, take your time to 'audition' a few before choosing. 

Whilst limited to how much personal information they can share (it would affect the relationship, making it far more social), you are quite entitled to ask about insurance, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service check), Data Protection compliance, training, experience and qualifications - my details are here but please contact me if you would like to talk about anything.

You may find that a therapist equally finds that something from their background (perhaps you remind them of someone) means that they feel unable to offer their services. Please do not be offended by this, it shows that they are putting your needs before their income and want you to have a therapist who will be fully effective.