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A desire for self-understanding and personal liberation
The reasons are many and varied (and everyone has their own story), however in general the motivating factors are negative feelings or thoughts and being overwhelmed or unable to cope alone with life’s difficulties.}
We consult a therapist because we want to feel better and from the very out start we often do. By finding an outlet in the form of a person and place where we can unload some of the weight we are carrying around with us, the effect is immediate.
Little by little, session after session, accompanied by the psychologist, we move into another stage of the psychotherapy where by piecing the elements together, we develop a narrative of our life and our story. The therapeutic "work" begins here.
Starting therapy is about making a choice: a choice to give oneself the means to enable changes, to question ones destiny, to overcome reoccurring issues.
Classical psychotherapy is "analytical", meaning it involves an analysis and self-reflection through language and the spoken word.
The therapeutic space is one of freedom of thought and speech. Sometimes it is the only space in which a person can really be themselves, where they can say "anything and everything"; where they can freely express what they think and feel without shame. A psychologist is there to neither judge nor moralize, they offer empathy in the face of another’s suffering.
The therapeutic space is one of self-reflection: the freedom of thought and speech allows for a deeper analysis of ourselves. In a joint process, the psychologist and client put words to things previously inexpressible.
Psychotherapy is a space for evolution. The aim of psychotherapy is that the client learns to understand themselves better in order to remove the obstacles and imaginary barriers that prevent them from living life to the full. The client’s objective is to no longer be a passive sufferer of their past, but to become an active agent in their life and find meaning. It can also involve finding one’s place in the world, a role in which one feels at ease, comfortable and less prone to suffering.
People who have had psychotherapy tend to feel more fulfilled and less held back. They live more in line with their desires.
Here we are not trying to fix a problem in the same way a doctor cures a cold. The changes that take place are existential transformations.
There are no special criteria for having psychotherapy - the only requirements are to speak a common language with the therapist, to devote time to the process and to enable it to happen.
Therefore, yes psychotherapy is accessible to everyone but it is not for everyone in the sense that it requires a certain rapport with spoken word and the truth. Psychotherapy challenges you to speak the truth and to live with the consequences, something not conceivable to everybody.
Psychologists do talk: they guide, interpret and support. However their objective in talking is to help you to express yourself because first and foremost it is what you have to say that matters.
The first session initiates the client-therapist relationship. It is the opportunity to jointly explore the meaning behind this step taken to start therapy, to better understand, apprehend and evaluate whether it will be pursued.
Sometimes it takes a few sessions before our motivation and commitment becomes clear. These initial sessions allow for an introduction to what psychotherapy is and to instigate a therapeutic relationship.
Every psychotherapy is different because it is unique to the client and progresses at their rhythm. For this reason, it is impossible to give it a timescale.
However for obvious reasons, psychotherapy does take time: it would be impossible in just a few sessions to change things that we have spent a lifetime maintaining.
It perhaps not so strange to devote a moment every week to talking to someone about yourself, your life, your future, your well-being…
It is essential to choose a psychologist we trust and feel comfortable with. The work of self analysis relies on the quality of the client-therapist relationship. The psychologist should be available, pleasant, caring and ready to listen. This provides the foundation for a relationship in which you can discuss everything with him or her.
More important than the specific psychological approach used by the therapist, is the therapeutic alliance between client and therapist. This relationship and the shared commitment to the process of change are what will determine the success of the therapy.
In the same section Parental Guidance