If your mental health problems are connected to an emotional issue, then you may be offered a form of psychotherapy.
WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy will involve speaking to a trained therapist, either on a one-to-one basis or in a group-based dynamic. They may also include your husband, wife or long-term partner, if you are willing of course.
Psychotherapy deals with how your past experiences are affecting your life now. By understanding your life history and any historic, problematic or traumatic life events, it will help you understand more about the person you have become and how those events may have contributed to the problems you are having now.
There are a number of different types of psychotherapy including:
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Cognitive Analytical Therapy
- Humanist Therapies
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Family Therapy
Whilst each one of those listed above may vary, the fundamentals will be the same.
HOW DOES PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
For the most part, psychotherapy will involve talking....a lot of talking. There are forms of psychotherapy that utilise other mediums, such as painting, music, drama or movement (known as Arts Therapy), but most are talking-based.
In the early stages of therapy, most of that talking will be done by the client. In order for your therapist to develop strategies and formulate ways to help you cope, they need to delve into your life experiences. For some people, this can be very upsetting and difficult to do.
If, for example, you have been a victim of abuse or have experienced a traumatic event, then reliving those thoughts can be upsetting, but it is necessary for them to understand the events which occurred.
With that in mind, it is very important, to build a trusting relationship with your therapist. These issues, whatever they may be, will often be deeply upsetting, but they will require you to be honest and open about them.
If you're not 'feeling the love' with a particular therapist, then that is absolutely your choice not to continue. It may be worth having a couple of sessions just getting to know each other before you commit. Remember, they are professionals so will be more than qualified to help and will probably have heard much worse before.
WHO IS PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR?
Psychotherapy works best for those for whom their issues are long term are have become a recurring problem. Long-standing depression or schizophrenia will often benefit from a course of psychotherapy.
You may not need to be diagnosed with a particular mental illness to find psychotherapy beneficial. Often those who have been dealing with stressful events including redundancy, divorce or the death of a someone close to you can also find it useful for them.