What To Expect In Therapy
The goals of psychotherapy
People seek therapy for different reasons and their goals reflect this. The meaning of seeking help can also vary from person to person – for some it feels like a natural step when they are in distress while for others there may be considerable shame in no longer being able to rely on themselves to “figure it out”.
Some may have enjoyed considerable success in their careers and yet find themselves unable to extend that success to their personal lives and relationships, despairing that they will ever feel the depth of connection they long for, both to themselves and others.
Still others approach therapy with a more specific goal in mind, aware at the outset of the adverse impact on their lives of childhood maltreatment or of an adult-onset trauma such as a car accident, assault or workplace trauma.
For some people then, the goal of therapy is to establish a sense of trust in themselves and the world, while for others it is to regain a trust lost.
With this in mind, I would consider the overarching goal of psychotherapy to be one of enabling people to be in their lives more fully; that is, to be present in their lives and able to engage in life in a reflective, emphatic and connected manner. For some, this may involve learning how to inform their thoughts with feeling, while for others it may be more about learning how to translate their feelings into thoughts.
My approach to therapy
The understanding here is that our attachment relationships with our original caregivers provide us with life-long patterns of relating to others and ourselves and influence how we approach experience.
I work collaboratively with clients. The first two or three sessions are used to explore the sense the client has of his or her difficulties as well as to get a feeling for how we might work together. Following this we set treatment goals, with the understanding that these goals are flexible and open to revision as we work.