What to expect from your first session...
People generally arrive for their first therapy session either really eager, or rather nervous and unsure of what to expect. There are many types of psychotherapy, each with its own approach. The type of psychotherapy that's right for you depends on your personality and your situation.
Your therapist will be au fait with the many different approaches and will be able to get a sense of which approach will suit you best. A skilled therapist will match the type and intensity of the therapeutic approach with your needs and comfort level.
Types of psychotherapy proven to be effective and used in this practice include:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT):
Helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviours and replace them with healthy, constructive ones
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT): a type of CBT that teaches behavioural skills to help you handle stress, manage your emotions and improve your relationships with others.
Brain Wave Recursive Therapy (BWRT®):
A process to remove emotive responses from memories that are deeply troubling and create new, adaptive neural pathways that do not have the old undesirable emotional responses attached to it. The therapy extends the neural pathways so that the client/patient’s brain knows the new patterns to use in future.
Mindfulness based psychotherapy (MBT) and Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT):
Helps you become aware of and accept your thoughts and feelings and commit to making changes, increasing your ability to cope with and adjust to situations.
Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapies:
Focus on increasing your awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviours and developing new insights into your motivations. Through the process of self-awareness, transformation and actualisation individuals discover what may be out of balance in their psyche.
A method of therapy that separates a person from their problem. It encourages people to rely on their own skills to minimize problems that exist in their lives. Throughout life, personal experiences become personal stories. People give these stories meaning, and the stories help shape a person’s identity. Narrative therapy uses the power of these stories to help people discover themselves and their sense of purpose.
Focuses on addressing problems in relationships to improve your interpersonal skills — how you relate to others, such as family, friends and colleagues.
Focuses on clarifying your sense of purpose and meaning and how this weaves into your choices, behaviours, relationships, moods and well-being.
Uses play methods with young children as a means of helping children express, communicate and work through their feelings.
To learning about your condition, personality, moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviours. The aim is to equip you to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.
For this practice check the ABOUT section to see which therapist offers the therapy that you are interested in.
Find a therapist:
Finding the right therapist can be daunting. Realistically you will only know if a therapist is “right” for you once you have had the opportunity to meet with them. Although it might take a few sessions for your therapist to fully understand your situation and for the two(or three) of you to map the best path forward, you will be able to get a sense of whether you think that you can develop a productive supportive and collaborative relationship. You can then decide if you feel it is worth a try. If not, try a different therapist, until you feel there is a good “fit”. Don't worry if you find it difficult to open up about your feelings. Your therapist will help you gain more confidence and comfort as time goes on.
Length of therapy:
This depends on person and the situation. Some people feel a major emotional shift and sense of perspective after just one session. Others need longer term, in-depth work in order to work through what they are facing. Your willingness to “shift” plays a big role in how long the therapy process. Generally speaking, 4-6 sessions would cover a time-limited solution focused process.
Prepare and review:
Before your appointments, think about what issues you'd like to work on and the realistic outcomes you hope to achieve from the session.
After your sessions aim to implement any concrete suggestions or treatment plans and give yourself time to reflect on the insights you gained.
Length of sessions:
Individual sessions are 1hour.
The first session for couples is 1 hour 15 minutes and thereafter 1 hour for follow up couples sessions.
Conversations with your therapist are confidential. However, a therapist may break confidentiality if there is an immediate threat to safety (yours or someone else's) or when required by law to report concerns to authorities. Your therapist will explain this to you and can answer your questions about confidentiality.
Psychotherapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can give you the power to cope in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and your life. Over time, discussing your concerns can help improve your mood, change the way you think and feel about yourself, and improve your ability to cope with problems.
In some cases, psychotherapy can be as effective as psychotropic medications. In other situations you may also benefit from medications or other treatments. Your therapist will be able to advise and refer you accordingly.
C.G. Jung – “Until we make the unconscious conscious it will rule our lives and we will call it fate.”