What to Expect from Psychotherapy
Goals of Psychotherapy
The main goals of psychotherapy are to remove blocks to one's
potential, deepen self-awareness, and acquire tools to be able
to deal confidently with future emotional challenges.
The Psychotherapy Process
Psychotherapy is a complex process which can be both exciting
and, at times, emotionally painful. It is difficult to describe
it briefly and do it justice but the following two fundamental
interdependent processes are vital to its success:
1. Therapist Compatibility and Guidance:
- The context of the relationship with the therapist sets the
tone of the entire process. The therapist's objectivity and
acceptance act as an antidote to the client's conscious or unconscious
guilt, shame, self-judgement, and self-censorship.
- Guided by the therapist, the client works on developing the
ability to be non-judgemental and accepting of her/his inner
world; this lowers the intensity of distress, and reduces acute
2. Client Self-awareness and Insight:
- The client engages in an exploration of their current situation
- and if applicable, how this relates to their early life experiences;
the goal is to gain insight into the ways her/his sense of self
and of relationships has developed. By mapping out the expectations
of self and others this also highlights original and, perhaps,
neglected strivings, inclinations, wishes, emotions, as well
as any barriers that may have blocked them reaching their fullest
personal and creative potential.
Outcomes of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy insights often lead to new perspectives, new ideas
based on new assumptions, a wish to test them out, new responses
from others, leading to new expectations in a positive feedback
loop, thus creating long-lasting change.