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What is Counseling and Psychotherapy?

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Counseling and Psychotherapy

                       Counseling and Psychotherapy

 Counseling and Psychotherapy; There seems to be quite a lot of misinformation, or at the very least, false supposition when it comes to psychotherapy and counseling. Of course, this could be said about just any profession out there. There is nothing malicious about these portrayals, usually intended for comedic effect or narrative shorthand. However, it can be argued that this sort of trial does do some damage.

Furthermore, society does seem to do some actively malicious damage to the reputation of counseling and psychotherapy, especially in Western culture. This is mainly due to older generations, which believed that asking anyone for help with just about anything meant a personal failure. Thus, many people believe that if they need counseling or psychotherapy, they are simply failures at coping with the world. This could not be further from the truth, but we will get to that.

First, let us dispel some myths about how counseling and psychotherapy work.

Counseling and Psychotherapy?

The old image of somebody lying back on a couch, listening to a professional with some heavy exotic accent may be amusing, but it is just not a realistic depiction. Yes, a therapist will sit and listen to you; otherwise, nothing would get done. If you are more comfortable lying back on a couch, a fair amount of therapists and other professionals are happy to oblige with this.

However, neither counseling nor psychotherapy, which are somewhat different things, involves a professional asking pointed questions and making snap judgments about their patient’s mental health.

During psychological evaluations, something to this effect may occur, but that is an entirely different situation. No, counseling and psychotherapy are in the open and safe discourse between a professional and their patient. It is a two-sided discussion, with the patient encouraged to dominate the conversation in most cases, merely with the professional providing cues and feedback where necessary.

This gently leads, open discourse is the fundamental aspect of the primary form of Therapy used in most cases, cognitive-behavioral Therapy (or CBT for short). CBT is not the end-all solution for Therapy, but it is generally where any approach starts and is often a solution.

During counseling, a patient is encouraged to describe past experiences linked to whatever may be bothering them, describe incidents in their day-to-day life that may cause their symptoms to flare up, and talk about how they feel about various things in general. With guidance from the therapist, patients are empowered to discover the root of their problem in this manner. On top of organically discovering the problem stems, this is empowering because the patient truly is the one reaching this conclusion.

From there, with the professional’s experience input, the patient can discover ways to abate the problem or at least cope with it if nothing can indeed be done about it. Additional, constructive things may also be suggested by the therapist that pair up with the patient’s psychological profile. These may be meditative exercises, new hobbies, new social habits, or lifestyle changes.

Of course, there is more to it than this, and when it comes to counseling, the professional has to provide quite a bit more feedback. Other therapeutic practices may be necessary, such as immersion therapy, etc.

When is Therapy helpful?

Therapy is recommended for the following disorders

  • Depression Therapy: Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders in modern times. There are many types of depression, and most people are susceptible to at least one or two of them and probably will experience at least one of them at some point in their life. Some people manage to recover from certain forms of depression on their own simple, but it will not be a healthy recovery, nor will it be a quick one. In most cases, it gets buried in bottled up, and nobody truly recovers on their own. Depression therapy is a powerful tool for identifying their depression, its cause, and ways to control their lives to overcome this depression.
  • Anxiety therapy: Anxiety is another common malady these days, with complicated and demanding adult life. Anxiety can be genetic, just like depression, but can be brought on by several environmental stimuli. Like with depression, this is not something that you can bury and get over. Anxiety therapy can provide you with powerful coping tools for this and a personal understanding of the anxiety you are experiencing. Understanding your anxiety is a powerful aspect of controlling it; believe it or not.
  • Anger issues: Anger is a powerful negative emotion, and it is straightforward for it to consume even the most well-rounded, mentally healthy individual. Anger management sometimes is not something that you can learn from picking up a self-help book, contrary to what many people may think. It takes a lot of dedication and many mental and physical lifestyle changes to overcome something like this. Therapists and counselors can help, and most have quite a bit of experience in diffusing pretty severe cases of anger.
  • Relationship problems: This one is pretty common as well. Relationship issues may be between colleagues, friends, intimate partners, family, or any other form of close social connection. Many people think that if their relationships are struggling, these relationships just are not meant to be or that there something entirely wrong with themselves and other parties involved. This could not be further from the truth, as people are going to butt heads at some point. No two people, no matter how similar, are indeed alike. Any social dynamic will have conflict, and therapists and counselors can help ease these conflicts and help people grow closer with a better understanding of one another.
  • Addiction: Everyone is susceptible to addiction, and overcoming it is a severe challenge. Indeed, while people addicted to certain substances may also require pharmaceutical aid, the only way to overcome an addiction is with a professional’s help and the support of those who love you. You need to understand your addiction, you need to understand its root, which is probably some more severe underlying issue, and you need to understand the coping mechanisms that you can adopt in place of turning to your addiction.

Counseling and Psychotherapy

Of course, these are just some examples of why you may need counseling. Indeed, if you are feeling any “out of sorts” mentally or emotionally, you may as well go ahead and see a professional. Humans are complicated creatures, and our intelligence and the complexity of emotions make it very easy for us to become “broken.”

Any issue that leads to us needing professional help is not a failing part, nor a unique and personal flaw in our character. Honestly, everybody on the face of the earth will face at least one issue in their life that would be better solved with the help of Therapy. If the stigmas around this and ignorance regarding it were taken out of the equation, and everyone was comfortable seeking this help, the world be would be a far more tranquil, pleasant place for everyone.

Remember, there is no shame in needing help, do not hesitate to seek Therapy if you need it.  Edmonton Counselling services provide one-to-one and couples therapy in Edmonton, Alberta.