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What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the provision of, by qualified practitioners, a professional but friendly and respectful relationship,
within which the client and Psychotherapist can both explore all aspects of personality and relationships.
How does Psychotherapy work?
There are many different types of psychotherapy and they all work a little differently. However there are some basic similarities. Psychotherapy encourages a better understanding of self, others and relationship.
1, Self is how you think (including your ‘belief system’), how your feel (or not!) and what you do (behaviour).
2, Others this means significant people in your life such as family, work colleages and friends.
3, Relationship we learn how to relate to others from our very early relationships with our primary caretakers (usually parents) and also by watching our primary caretakers relate with each other. We either copy these early relationships or in some cases we rebel and do the polar opposite.
Successful psychotherapy will usually see changes in all three areas.
EMDR Psychotherapy works by reprogramming the brain to process trauma and relate to the past in a ‘normal’ way.
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Traditionally Psychotherapists were trained more extensively and minimum course lengths were 4 years. The boundaries between psychotherapy and counselling have blurred somewhat over the last few years, especially with the BAC changing their name to BACP. Now some counselling courses are as long as 4 years and some shorter counselling courses are advertising themselves as psychotherapy courses.
As a trained Counseller and Psychotherapist, my viewpoint is that Psychotherapists’ work more diagnostically, with a considered treatment plan, agreed with the client, which works towards significant clinical change. The aim is not just for cure but preventative cure. Nearly all Psychotherapist’s have had extensive counselling skills training but the same is not necessarily so in reverse. Generally, Psychotherapists are more directive and will look toward the achievement of mutually agreed therapeutic goals.
While there are many scores of counsellers, there are but only a handful of fully trained Psychotherapists in Cornwall.
What is the history of Psychotherapy?
It is believed that the ancient Greeks were the first to identify mental illness. While some of their treatments were a little bizarre they did recognise the value of communication in healing distress. There were some references to talking therapies for centuries until the Psychiatrist Walter Cooper Dendy first introduced the term “psycho-therapeia” in 1853.
Sigmund Freud developed Psychoanalysis at the turn of the 20th century, making major contributions to the field of talking therapies. Freud’s believed that mental illness was the result of keeping thoughts or memories in the unconscious. Listening to the patient and offering interpretations, would bring these memories to consciousness and decrease symptoms.
For fifty years, Freud’s methods were the main psychotherapy used in clinical practice. Around the 1950s, the growth of American psychology led to new, more active therapies.