One of the most daunting prospects for me about getting help with managing depression, was the labyrinth of therapies available. After I’d decided taking anti depressants wasn’t going to kill me (but the depression may have) I still felt there where vast seas of underlying emotions and out dated thought patterns that needed to be sorted.
Having already spent the best part of half my life trying to sort this out my self with varying degrees of success ( I know what my issues are and where they came from, but I struggle to move past them to where I’d like to be ) I went to see a counsellor to begin with. I lasted 2 sessions as it became pretty obvious talking about the problem wasn’t going to solve it , I needed to take action. Those 2 session helped me to make the choice I needed too, to move on with my life at that time. But I never went back.
I’m currently seeing a psychological well-being practitioner (catchy title !) who has so far managed to re affirm that im taking the right steps in the right direction. Which is great. But do I need to keep seeing someone who can only say I’m already doing what it is she would have suggested ? I think my difficulty in finding the ‘right’ theraputic support comes from already being very self aware, but not having the confidence to do what I need to. I also have a view of the self as made of many parts, My spiritual beliefs don’t just see a mind or a body or a soul separately , I see them inter-dependent. What I needed was a therapist who could share that same view and understanding of the world that I have, as a lot of the areas I wished to explore where very closely linked to my spiritual view of life. What I found eventually was a body psychotherapist.
This isn’t just psychotherapy for the mind, it also takes into account the fact that lots of our experiences and emotions are stored in the body. We can help our selves to heal further by acknowledging our bodies as well as our minds and emotions By listening to our physical selves we can trace where there may be blockages in our growth and developement and by becoming conscious of this, with the support of the psychotherapist, we can begin to heal.
I don’t know how it compares to traditional psychotherapy, but ill be finding out soon enough as I begin my final year of training in hypnotherapy and psychotheraputic counselling. I’m looking forward to learning more about this method of counselling as it covers many topics I find personally very intriguing.
I’ve also found alternate healing methods helpful throughout my life, reiki being one of them ( a kind of hands on healing) bach flower remedies ( flower essences which help to re-balance the emotional self ) and soul retrieval ( parts of us can get ‘lost’ or left behind following a trauma and this helps to bring them back, there’s more to it but I’ve not got time to go into it)
So when it comes to choosing a therapy, it helps to consider what it is you wish to achieve from it? what kind of support are you looking for? Do you want someone to listen, or someone to challenge you ? do you want to make changes or explore different areas of your self or life ? different therapies offer different ways of supporting you, so research them beforehand.
You also need to be sure the person you choose is right for you and your needs ( you don’t have to see any one you feel uncomfortable with, even if you’ve been assigned someone you can ask to change therapist if you feel it necessary)
Talk with them first to see if what they are offering fits with your needs and to see how you feel talking with them about yourself . if you don’t feel comfortable doing this it may be you need some time to get used to each other but can also be a sign that you don’t ‘click’. Trust your own judgement and feelings.
When you do find someone suitable, who you are comfortable with remember to try and stick to the minimum number of sessions ,even if you (like me ) tend to decide that you don’t really need any help after all, (you do or you wouldn’t be there) I have a habit of wanting to get help and then after one or two sessions decide I’m ok actually and I don’t need to carry on. This is more about my fear of acknowledging my issues than anything else. I panic and decide there are worse off people than me that need the help more. Whilst that may be true to some degree, I deserve and can benefit from the input of a trained proffesional. I remind my self to be brave, go and talk about my fears and theni feel better about it !
I’d like to be a therapist myself one day (hence the training im doing ) but I recognise that unless I can open up as a client and experience the relationship from that perspective, I’m not going to make a very understanding therapist, despite my personal experiences.It also helps me to understand the therapist /client relationship and the proffessional boundries that are in place to protect both parties. An ethical therapist will always maintain proper proffesional boundries at all times. You can find out more information about codes of ethics by looking at counselling/therapy websites-s or asking to see the policies your therapist has to abide by.
- How Do You Know Your Shrink Is Helping You? (psychologytoday.com)
- Things I Wish I Had Known When Visiting a Therapist (diariesofadepressedstudent.wordpress.com)
- Psychotherapy Has an Image Problem, Part I (psychologytoday.com)
- Why (and what) to tell people about your therapy (yourmindyourbody.org)