Frequently Asked Questions
Counselling and Psychotherapy
Interpersonal Counselling normally concentrates on your relationships with other people. So if you are struggling with some issues in personal relationships, coping with loss or going through a big change in your life, Interpersonal Counselling will help you to rebuild supportive relationships that can meet your emotional needs (16).
This method is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that unacceptable thoughts from early childhood are banished into the unconscious mind, but then influence thoughts, emotions and behaviour in later life. (137) Psychoanalysis is an in-depth, intense therapy based on the understanding that we are largely unaware of the mental processes that determine our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Thus free association (where you relate whatever comes into your head during the session), dream interpretation, and tapping into unconscious desires (all part of Freud’s theories) allows people to explore repressed or unconscious anxieties and internal conflicts. This is ‘Repressed’ feelings can surface as conflicts, depression, or through dreams or creative activities. The analyst seeks to interpret troubling feelings and relationships from the past, bringing them to the forefront of the client’s mind so that any negative feelings can be dealt with. This type of therapy is often used by clients suffering high levels of distress and can be a lengthy and intensive process. (137) Psychoanalysis encourages you to talk freely about personal experiences to help you discover things in their unconscious mind that are affecting your emotional and mental state.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy may be more suitable if you have had long-standing difficulties with your life or relationships. This tends to be a longer-term treatment, and helps you to see how your past experiences may be affecting your life here and now. (62)
Transpersonal counselling recognises levels of experience that take you beyond your usual sense of self. Practitioners might work with the different parts of your persona or your sense of a higher self.
Sometimes described as ‘psychology of the soul’, this is the name given to a series of actions that lead to a change or development which encourages personal growth. This growth is achieved by bringing together your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual attributes within a safe environment. Psychosynthesis is useful for people seeking a new, more spiritually oriented vision for the future. (139)
See References in NowOK Dictionary
This therapy is based on the idea that you enter into a relationship with a counsellor where you are allowed to freely express any emotions and feelings. This enables you to come to terms with the negative feelings that may have caused emotional problems, and develop personal skills. The objective is for you to become able to see yourself as a person with power and freedom to change. (120)
Humanistic Counselling encourages you to explore your feelings and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving your highest potential.
Eclectic Counselling and Psychotherapy
Practitioners working in an “eclectic” way take elements of several different models and combine them for your best interest.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy gives you a regular time to think and talk about the feelings you have about yourself and other people (especially your family and those you are close to). You discuss what's happening in your life at the moment, how you do things and the part you play in things going right or wrong for you, what has happened in the past, how the past can affect how you are feeling, thinking and behaving right now. The therapist will help you to make these connections between the past and the present. He or she will often comment on what happens in the sessions as you talk together. This can help to show how some of the things that you feel, do and say are not driven by your conscious thoughts and feelings, but by unconscious feelings from your past. And if it is happening in the therapy sessions, it will also be happening in your day-to-day life. When you understand these connections better, you can make decisions based on what you want or need now, not what your past experiences drive you to do. (140)
Primal Therapy is based on the theory that distress which has occurred at birth or during infancy can resurface as neuroses. This therapy takes you back to the ‘primal scene’ where trauma can be re-experienced as an emotional cleansing. When this approach is used by a therapist it is usually in addition to their main type of therapy. (133)
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour.The psychodynamic approach is derived from psychoanalysis, but usually provides a quicker solution to emotional problems. (138) ‘Transference’; when the client projects their feelings experienced in previous significant relationships on to the therapist, is a method used in this type of therapy. Psychodynamic counselling stresses the importance of unconscious processes and past experiences in determining your present behaviour. You are encouraged to talk with your therapist about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, and the therapist focuses on the dynamics of the client therapist relationship. Practitioner may explore your childhood relationships with your parents or other significant people in your life to gain a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to others today.
Integrative Psychotherapy is a generalisation though a counselling or psychotherapy usually overlaps some of techniques. The practitioners combine specific types of techniques.