Psychotherapy is an approach that is used to gain deeper understanding and resolution of issues you find recurring in your life; these issues may be in the form of patterns in your thoughts, emotions or relationships. If you realise that certain issues keep coming up, psychotherapy can help you to understand them better and stop this pattern from continuing.
Psychotherapy is focused on developing insight into what motivates and sustains certain behaviours that have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing and relationships. This kind of therapy can provide you with support through a journey of self-discovery that can lead you to a more meaningful, creative and joyful way of life.
This type of treatment is called “longer-term” because it can take more than just a few visits to change patterns of behavior that have taken years to develop. For longer term issues, such as trauma, depression, or anxiety, people often require time to come to grips with and release the pain they have been experiencing. Similarly, if we have recurring difficulties in interpersonal relationships, it may take time to understand the part we play in reinforcing patterns. Psychotherapy facilitates the reflection and insight needed to make lasting changes.
There is evidence that psychotherapy is effective, and is a crucial part of mental health treatment. It has been shown that it enhances the effectiveness of medical treatment, and is the only necessary treatment in many cases.
(The American Psychiatric Association)
While short-term counselling can be effective, there is increasing evidence that the benefits may also be short-term, sometimes resulting in relapse. In contrast, the evidence also shows that longer-term approaches are more effective at achieving long-term improvement in mental health.
A trusting relationship between the client and the therapist is the foundation for achieving these long-term benefits. This is enhanced by a commitment from the therapist and client to regular sessions over a period of time, which can range from months to years depending on individual needs and circumstances.