Psychotherapy and counselling are talking treatments, applied to help with a broad variety of emotional issues, mental health problems, and associated physical and behavioural issues. As with many things, therapy isn’t for everyone, however, it has successfully helped countless people for many years, all over the world, to make positive lasting change.
At Therapy Unlimited, we aim to build good ethical therapeutic relationships with a diverse range of clients. Research tells us consistently that the most significant factor in determining whether therapies have been helpful to the client, is a good relationship in which trust has been built between client and therapist. This relationship is referred to as the ‘therapeutic alliance’, and includes important components, such as feeling heard, understood, empowered to make decisions, and supported.
To date, there are roughly about fifty different types of talking therapy, however, a much smaller number are more common and may sound familiar. Though the relationship between you and your therapist is the most important thing, below is some introductory information, to give you a sense of some of the therapy approaches we can offer you, to help you better understand what counselling and psychotherapy is about, and to assist you in deciding whether starting individual or couples therapy feels right for you.
Existential Psychotherapy is a diverse and philosophically informed approach to psychotherapy and counselling. Many practitioners have been influenced by philosophic enquiry, including Freud during the 1800’s. It aims to increase understanding of the human condition.
How this applies to you in the day-to-day, is that in talking through your concerns with your therapist, it is less concerned with pathologising you, and more interested in helping you to gain insight about your experiences and the painful problems you’re facing in your life, helping you to identify and achieve what you want for yourself. This can help you to both ask and answer important life questions, both big and small.
This type of therapy can be optimistic, transformational, and empowering, enabling you to increase awareness of your potential and make important life choices. It is open-minded and endeavours to help you to enrich your life and improve your relationships both with yourself and others, supporting you to live more authentically and meaningfully.
Examples of just a few of the questions Existential psychotherapy might examine may include:
Who am I really?
What’s my life purpose?
Who am I supposed to be?
What does happiness mean to me?
How can I make sense of my suffering?
What is blocking me from achieving what I hope for?
Existential therapy is helpful to people suffering with a broad variety of emotional and behavioural problems and other challenges including:
Addiction, Anxiety, Apathy, Bereavement and loss, Choices, Death/Terminal illness, Depression, Fear, Finding meaning, Guilt, Loneliness and isolation, Passivity or problems with autonomy, Relationships and Spiritual challenges.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT, a popular form of therapy that emerged in the 1960’s, is an active therapy approach which aims to help you to increase your awareness of your personal thinking patterns, and how your thinking impacts your feelings and behaviour.
For example, you may find yourself overthinking things, feeling like you can’t switch off from thinking about things, having worrying thoughts about what will happen in future or what people will think of you, or generally thinking negatively. How we think about things, people or situations can sometimes then affect how we feel physically and/or emotionally, and subsequently, can impact how we then behave.
The way we think can either be helpful or unhelpful, and CBT can help you to pinpoint and alter unhelpful thinking patterns, make sense of overwhelming feelings, and in turn, positively impact how you behave.
CBT can be effective in helping you to feel more in control and can be offered for a variety of problems, including: Anger Management, Anxiety, Panic, Stress, Problematic thinking, Eating Disorders, Fear, Depression, and Trauma.
Psychodynamic Therapy is a therapy approach that emerged in the 1950’s and is interested in a client’s deep desires, urges and needs. It is developed from Freud’s psychoanalysis, although a more modern approach.
The therapist aims to help you to gain greater self-awareness, as well as helping you to identify any relevant patterns in your beliefs, feelings, and thoughts, that may be causing difficulty.
These patterns are thought to have their origins in childhood experiences and considered to have a significant impact on later psychological development. It is thought that depression, conflicts, and fear, are the result of repressed feelings, and thoughts not yet dealt with.
Psychodynamic therapy considers your unconscious mind to be where chronic problems are rooted, and that, in shedding light on them and making them conscious, the opportunity can be taken to learn skills and apply tools to find relief and better manage going forward.
Psychodynamic therapy can help with a variety of issues including depression, isolation, anxiety, anger, panic, and stress-related ailments.
Person-centred, or client-centred therapy was developed in the 1940’s. This approach believes in human being’s capacity for personal growth and helping people to achieve self-actualisation, that is, fulfilling potential.
Rather than the therapist being the authority, they act as a non-directive empathetic facilitator, led by the client, who in turn is motivated and empowered by the therapist to make choices about their own lives. The client, is perceived to be capable, with the capacity to fulfil their own potential, as opposed to flawed, with problematic behaviours or thoughts requiring treatments and as such, is considered to have an optimistic view of human beings.
This approach offers the core conditions of unconditional positive regards (acceptance); congruence (openness and honesty from the therapist about how the client and the client’s world view is experienced by the therapist), and; empathy (being able to understand and sense the client’s emotions as if they were in their shoes).
This therapy can help to explore your views, feelings, and beliefs as well as to increase independence and awareness. It can also help with a variety of issues including bereavement and loss, relationship and sex issues, anxiety, anger, and depression.