When do I need to go for psychotherapy?

People may find themselves in difficult and painful situations at different points of their lives; for example, moving to a new country, going through transitional periods, trying to find a job, becoming a parent for the first time, experiencing loss in any form, or maybe feeling confused, moody and on edge for no particular reason. Psychotherapy can be very helpful at those moments and it is scientifically proven to have a positive effect on the brain[1].

What do we do during psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process, meaning that it is a treatment method characterised by a dynamic relationship between the psychologist and the client and by a variety of steps.

The psychological process I am using is tailored to the personal life style and needs. It may involve a variety of steps:

  • Identification of problem and complains
  • Educating 
  • Exchange of information and ideas
  • Setting a therapy goal
  • Providing appropriate tools and discussing the way they can be used
  • Processing negative emotions and anxiety
  • Unraveling past experiences and feelings
  • Communicating about progress and evaluation
  • Positive behavioral and emotional change

My approach is eclectic, meaning it combines a variety of different psychological methodologies according to the unique needs and preferences of the individual. Bellow you can find some details regarding those methodologies:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; using cognitive tools and theories to positively change perceptions and beliefs.
  • Mindfulness; Focuses on bringing the attention to the present moment using a variety of relaxation and visualisation techniques.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy; focused on unraveling underlying experiences and feelings about significant past events. This type of therapy is based on the fact that previous significant events may be the cause for unhealthy beliefs and feelings.
  • Sensorimotor psychotherapy; focuses on connecting the body and the brain by giving attention to different states of body and mind and finding ways to connect the cognitive emotional and sensory part of the brain.
  • Existential; focuses on the fact that most of our inner conflicts come from the confrontation of the "givens" of existence, such as death, freedom and existential isolation. These "givens" create the context in which the therapist understands the problem of a client in order to develop a treatment method. The view of existential psychotherapy is that life makes sense under all circumstances.
  • Neuropsychological; knowledge about how the brain works and reacts under stressful situations is important in order to help us overcome any psychological problem and understand psycho-originated physical symptoms.
  • Non-violent Communication approach; is based on how to express ourselves in a way that we express our feelings and problems but in a non-judgmental and peaceful manner.

The nature of this therapy does not apply to people with serious psychiatric, neurological or addiction disturbances, it might help them to overcome specific symptoms but a multidisciplinary approach involving the help of specialized (GZ) psychologist and/or psychiatrist is essential.

[1] Barsaglini, A., Sartori, G., Benetti, S., Pettersson-Yeo, W., & Mechelli, A. (2014). The effects of psychotherapy on brain function: A systematic and critical review. Progress in neurobiology, 114, 1-14.