Psychotherapy is a general term used to describe a form of supportive treatment that is done with a mental health therapist. It aims to relieve distress and boost well-being by expressing and discharging difficult emotions and stress. Psychotherapy also includes integrating experiences to bring healing and recovery which may include changing attitudes, behaviours and habits that may be blocking growth or meaningful relationships by developing more constructive and adaptive ways of coping.
Effective psychotherapy depends on a supportive, comfortable relationship with a trusted therapist and can bring lasting effects and skills that are translatable over time and contexts. It can also provide a healthy way to model mental wellbeing for families and broaden our perspective about others.
If you’re new to psychotherapy or have ‘been around the block’ and are feeling stuck, reaching out to connect with someone new is a powerful way to take care of yourself and create possibilities for a healthier, restored you.
What Is Involved?
There is no such thing as a typical counselling session. There are many different philosophies that guide counselling and a number of different forms it can take. Some people prefer very structured sessions that follow what is called a “manualized” approach such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Other people prefer a more “free-flowing” style where they come to session with whatever is on their mind that day to unpack. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to counselling.
Sessions are 50 minutes long and take place either online via a secure platform or in-person if you reside in Hamilton. If you desire, counselling can also include other people close to you. The duration of the therapeutic relationship is also very dependent on your needs and preference – some people will be satisfied after three sessions where others may enter into therapy for years. Again, there is no “right or wrong” here.
The most important element in counselling is to work with someone you trust and who makes you feel safe. You should have a good sense after our first session or two if the fit is right. It is a good idea to take advantage of a complementary 20-minute telephone consultation to find out more.