What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the term used to cover a multitude of talking therapies or counselling. There are numerous theoretical approaches used in talking therapies/counselling. I am an integrative practitioner, which means, I have been trained in several different theoretical approaches to therapy. I can draw on whichever will be the most useful in supporting each client with their specific needs. Nevertheless my work tends to focus on three specific areas, namely Gestalt, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural approaches. I use these in conjunction with my acquired knowledge of Psychology. I have chosen to focus on these areas of Psychotherapy, as I believe they are the most complementary to my work as a Health Psychologist. They also benefit both long-term work and short-term problem-focused work.
Psychodynamic therapy concentrates on the ‘Psyche’ or mind which encompasses both emotions and feelings. The mind is not static but dynamic in the relationship between people. Psychodynamic therapy puts a therapeutic relationship at the heart of its work which allows clients to gain an understanding of their roles when interacting with others. The therapist keeps the professional boundaries safe whilst having a deep understanding of the dynamics at play which assists in joint restorative work. Through this therapy clients gain an understanding of their relationships with others which helps them to discover underlying causes for their concerns and lead to a successful resolution of their issues.
Gestalt work looks at the person as they are now and in relation to their environment. It takes into consideration the person’s body, and mind, as both are important in the resolution of a clients’ concerns. Gestalt therapies first emerged in the 1950’s devised by Fritz Perls and uses innovative techniques to facilitate therapists in their work. Using Gestalt techniques, I will ask clients for their physical response to our work and bring them into the now by asking “, how are you feeling right now as you talk about your problem?” Gestalt technique also uses some role-play, which is useful but only if clients are comfortable with it.