Like counselling, the term 'psychotherapy' is used to describe a range of talking therapies to help overcome problems such as relationship issues, emotional difficulties and stress. The specific differences between counselling and psychotherapy are hard to pinpoint but generally speaking a psychotherapist can offer more in-depth work over a longer period of time. Psychotherapy involves exploring in depth your feelings, beliefs and thoughts, including those from childhood, to come to a fuller understanding of the problems you face. Given the often sensitive nature of the issues discussed, developing a trusting relationship with the psychotherapist is paramount to effective treatment.
The idea of psychotherapy was first developed in Vienna over a century ago, by the famous Sigmund Freud. Freud’s work with patients led him to believe that mental health problems such as depression and anxiety were the result of keeping difficult thoughts and memories locked in the unconscious mind. Freud proposed that treatment should revolve around listening to the patient and by providing interpretation of their thoughts bring these memories into the conscious mind, thereby reducing symptoms. This idea led to the popular image of therapy, as individuals lying on the couch reciting their inner most thoughts to the therapist with a clipboard.
Although different forms of this therapy were established, the major change came in the 1950s, when a psychologist named Carl Rogers developed person-centred psychotherapy which viewed all individuals as unique, and requiring unique solutions to their problems. Under this view, the role of the therapist was to create a comfortable, empathic and non-judgemental environment which would aid patients find their own solutions to their problems. While this view of therapy forms the basis of modern day psychotherapy, there are many approaches that are currently in use.
The different forms of psychotherapy include:
A psychotherapy session will often involve your psychotherapist encouraging you to talk and explore your feelings, past memories and experiences. As part of this exploration, your therapist may use particular techniques such as imaging or dream work to help structure your thoughts. Sessions will generally talk place at the same time and place each week and will last in the region of 50 minutes. Each client is different and presents with different problems, so each session will be different and your psychotherapist during the first session may talk through with you the terms of your working relationship. Regardless of the therapeutic approach and techniques adopted, the underlying aim of therapy is to help clients develop a sense of mastery and control over the problem situation.
The counselling psychologists at Birmingham Psychotherapy have many years of training and clinical experience as specialised Cognitive Behavioural Therapists. They have studied in the top UK institutions and offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in Birmingham for all conditions including: depression, stress, anxiety, trauma, eating issues, low self-esteem, anger management, relationship difficulties, sexual problems, work/career issues and phobias/obsessive compulsive disorder.
For more information on our Counselling Services in Birmingham, please contact us.