Psychotherapy is the use of psychological techniques to help clients to understand why they act and feel the way they do, it can help change, feelings, thoughts, or habits. To relieve symptoms of emotional distress or behavioural problems, and this can achieve greater levels of self awareness and to help to uncover undeveloped capability. There are a many varieties of psychotherapeutic modalities and theoretical approaches (psycho dynamic, behavioural, cognitive and others.
What is the difference between psychotherapy & counselling?
The difference is not as clear as you may think, simply put, generally counselling is mainly short term and based in the here and now, psychotherapy is longer term and often deals with the past and how you’re past has affected the way you live your life, but many counsellor’s do long term work and deal in the past, and many psychotherapists do short term work, so the two cross over and it has been said that there is no real distinction. That is why I use the term psychotherapy/counselling and interchange between the two.
I find that with psychotherapy working with a clients present situation is unavoidably also working within the past, it may seem easy to put areas of a persons life into separate comfortable boxes but in reality we are all aspects of our past residing in the present day looking toward the future, and as we are a combination of past experiences and learned behaviours the past must influence the future.
This is always dependent on the client, some clients do not want to drag up past experiences and only wish to deal with the present day, and this wish has to be respected by any therapist. for some people leaving the past behind is the only way to cope at the time, some experiences are just to painful to accept or handle at that particular moment, so leaving the pain in the past enables some to gain a sort of respite.
As time goes on the past some times tend to catch up, influencing our internal make up and interactions with other people and situations we encounter. When we experience anxiety it can be experienced in all three time lines of our life, if we fear the recurrence of the experience from our past we also fear it happening again now, today, and re-experiencing it in the future. So in effect leaving the past behind for some is impossible, but we are not just talking about fears and anxiety, but also including in this the role of self defeating behaviours and our failed relationships among others, but on the positive side counselling can provide us with the strength to move on.
Trying to leave the past behind for some people is like trying to leave ones shadow, you can run as fast and as far as you like but it is always with you.
We all do the best we can with what we are born with and what we learn from life, all our life experiences are a combination of feelings and behaviours in an ever changing external environment that has influenced all aspects of the life we live, seeking to leave behind elements of that experience will have a bearing on how we feel about ourselves and our future evolving needs.
Working together we may change the very life you live, change the world you live in by changing how you think and feel in that world.
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