Time to heal your spirit!
The word Psychotherapy comes from Ancient Greek psyche meaning ‘breath, spirit or soul’ and therapeia meaning ‘healing, or medical treatment’. In other words, psychotherapy is a ‘healing of the soul/spirit.’
It is a relationship between you and your therapist where you work together to change behaviour, overcome problems and create a more positive outlook for your future. There are many forms of psychotherapy which focus on your past, present or future.
Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that is used to treat issues/problems presented by a client. It provides a safe space to understand and resolve problems by talking to trained therapist either face-to-face or online. It can also include group therapy if required. I use integrated psychotherapy, which means first getting to understand the nature of your problem and then integrating appropriate elements from complementary therapies such as CBT, Gestalt therapy, Hypnotherapy and others to help you to resolve those issues. For example, there is a growing trend of clients who present with social anxiety.
How do you know if you have social anxiety? The DSM-5 (the bible of mental health practitioners) defines social anxiety disorder as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.” Anxiety in these circumstances cannot be linked to another illness, for example, panic disorder or Parkinson’s disease. Social anxiety refers to a person who is afraid of being embarrassed, humiliated, or otherwise negatively evaluated, and where it significantly interferes with their engagement in career, academic life and/or relationships for a period of over six months. Consequently, social anxiety triggers symptoms of anxiety or fear that are disproportionate in their intensity to the situation in which a person finds themselves. As a coping or defensive mechanism, a person may avoid such circumstances or experience increased anxiety and distress if they have to endure the situation. Adults respond to social anxiety by becoming quiet and withdrawn from social situations. They never make plans to socialise or be with friends and they frequently call in sick to work because of their fear of interacting with their colleagues. Performance tasks often trigger social anxiety in children who can, sometimes appear to be openly defiant, have temper tantrums, cry excessively, or become clingy. Children, in particular, have a fear of criticism and constantly ask for assurance about the consequences of doing something wrong in public. A relatively new phenomenon is the impact of cyber bullying and addiction to social media platforms. Physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, dry mouth or the inability to speak frequently present.
Psychoanalysis can help to uncover, for example, the originating cause of social anxiety, but you need to be committed to change in order to maximise the benefit psychotherapy. Normally, you will meet your therapist regularly, usually weekly over several months, but with hypno-psychotherapy, the process normally concludes in a shorter space of time. Individual sessions last approximately fifty minutes, but group sessions are longer. You’ll be taught specific skills such as learning how to control the thoughts that affect your emotions, which in turn, drive your behaviour. You will be encouraged to do reflective journalling (and taught how to do it) because there is a goldmine of information available in your writing that helps you to identify triggers, patterns and offer clues as to how to resolve matters easily.
Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on the way illness may result from relationships with other people, for example, bereavement, conflict, relationship breakup, or even moving house. It helps you to name how you are feeling and work out strategies to help you move ahead.