When beginning therapy, most people don't fully understand what to expect. This page aims to explain what psychotherapy is, in general. The other tabs detail various types of therapy available with Amy.
At its core, psychotherapy is a relationship that is established between you and a trained psychologist. During regular meetings, you work together to gain a better understanding of yourself in terms of feelings, thoughts, behaviours, and relationship dynamics. Better understanding then leads to an exploration of things which may currently not be working and how these things could be changed. This is done by looking at current issues, past experiences, and wishes for the future, and uses the therapeutic relationship as a safe base for exploration and shift.
People come to therapy for different reasons. Many people come because of difficulties they are currently experiencing, which can include long periods of distressing feelings or thoughts, struggling to cope in some way, relationship problems, and/or difficulty dealing with a particularly distressing situation. Some people come to therapy simply to gain a better understanding of themselves and their lives, with the goal of psychological growth.
Therapy is a unique experience and relationship between you and a professional. It is very normal to not fully understand its nature at the outset. Most people need to attend a few sessions before knowing what to expect and making an informed decision as to whether it will be helpful for them. There is much research to demonstrate therapy’s effectiveness. This is because of the unique support provided by the therapeutic relationship which makes it much more possible to gain insight and garner lasting change. While coming to therapy can provide much immediate and lasting relief or positive change, it is important to know that the process is not always easy. Working through difficult feelings or life experiences can be extremely painful, and new understandings and ways of doing things can be quite uncomfortable at first. While the therapeutic relationship provides a very safe space for these things, it is quite normal to leave some sessions not feeling better or even temporarily feelings worse. Thus, it is important to communicate honestly with your psychologist about where you are at in the therapy.
Finally, it is also important to know that therapy is only effective when both parties to take responsibility. You should expect to have honest communication with your therapist where you mutually decide on goals for therapy and on how these goals may realistically be achieved. For you to take responsibility for your process, it is important that you attend the necessary sessions and let your therapist know about any changes or difficulties that may arise for you.