Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching FAQ

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is generally a longer-term treatment that focuses more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. Its focus is on the person's thought processes, and how these may be influenced by past events such that they cause problems in the present. In other words, psychotherapy addresses the root cause and core issues of current problems so that lasting change and personal growth may occur. Some forms of psychotherapy last only a few sessions, while others are long-term, lasting for months or years. There are several different types of therapy that fall under the general heading of psychotherapy. Read About them further below.

What is Counselling?

Technically speaking, "counsellor" means "advisor." It involves two people working together to solve the problem. It is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of advice giving. For example, financial planning and spiritual guidance are both types of counselling. The term counselling may also properly be used to refer to what occurs in a relationship with a psychotherapist. In the context of mental health, "counselling" is generally used to denote a relatively brief treatment that is focused primarily on behaviour. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation and offers suggestions and advice for dealing with it. In this setting, the counsellor offers guidance and support as the individual figures out ways to better manage life and adjust to change or adversity. There are many types of counsellors, such as marriage and family therapists, grief counsellors, addiction and substance abuse counsellors, and more.

What is Coaching?

coaching process that may be long or short-term, instead of regular sessions. In life and personal coaching, a client works with a coach, in order to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors in order to create action plans to achieve desired results. The process of life coaching takes the client’s current starting point as an acceptable neutral ground and is more action-based from that point onward. A life coach enables the person receiving treatment to take control of their life and take action to steer it toward their goals. Unlike counselling and psychotherapy, coaching focuses on the future not the past, it focuses on the how and not the why. Moreover, Coaching does NOT treat mental illnes, but psychotherapy does.

Types of Psychotherapy

Client-Centered Therapy [Person-Centered Therapy, PCT, CCT or Rogerian Therapy] (Part of the Humanistic Category of Therapy) Client-centered therapy focuses as much on the client as possible. The therapist provides little authority or direction. Instead he or she offers subtle guidance and encourages the client to take control of their destiny. CCT therapists show more concern and care than more analytical therapists. They put more time and effort into empathizing with clients. Cognitive or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [CBT] (part of the behavioral category) CBT treats dysfunctional thinking that leads to maladaptive behaviors, mental illness and negative emotion. It focuses on thoughts rather than the client as a person. Existential Therapy (part of the humanistic category) Existential therapy emphasizes and helps clients manage aspects of the human condition, including the givens of human existence: isolation, meaninglessness, mortality and freedom. Psychotherapists such as Irvin Yalom derived it from existential philosophy. Gestalt Therapy (part of the humanistic category) Gestalt therapy emphasizes personal responsibility and helps clients focus on the present. It also stresses the development of the therapist-client relationship/alliance, the social context of the client’s life, awareness, attitudes and direct feelings and perceptions rather than interpretations. Psychoanalytic or Psychodynamic Therapy The psychodynamic approach explores unconscious feelings/thoughts and the impact of the past on the present. It is the oldest type of psychotherapy and closest to what Freud created. Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy [AEDP] AEDP explores difficult emotional and relational experiences to develop coping tools that allow better functioning. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy [ACT] ACT helps clients develop mindfulness skills with the goal of consistent values and psychological flexibility. Adlerian Psychotherapy This approach improves the ability to adapt to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority relative to others. Anger Management This approach teaches clients to identify stressors, remain calm and handle tense situations in a positive and constructive manner. Bibliotherapy This approach uses literature to improve mental health and explore psychological issues. Coherence Therapy [Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy] Coherence therapy helps clients empathetically and quickly delve into deeply held emotional beliefs. Collaborative Therapy In collaborative therapy both the therapist and client use knowledge and experience to make progress. Compassion-Focused Therapy This approach encourages people to be compassionate toward themselves and others. Conflict-Resolution Therapy This approach teaches clients how to resolve conflicts with great results and minimal stress. Contemplative Psychotherapy This approach integrates Buddhist teachings and Western psychotherapy to focus on self-awareness, improve overall health and use wisdom to heal. Core Process Psychotherapy [CPP] CPP is a mindfulness-based approach that emphasizes awareness of body and mind for self-exploration and healing. Dialectical Behavior Therapy [DBT] DBT uses a problem solving and acceptance-based framework — among other strategies —- usually to treat severe and chronic mental health conditions and issues, including borderline personality disorder, suicidal thoughts, self-harming, eating disorders and PTSD. Ego State Therapy Based on psychodynamic therapy, ego state therapy operates under the principle that a person’s psyche is composed of identities and roles he or she takes on. It addresses these identities and the mental health issues they might be connected to. Emotion-Focused Therapy [EFT] EFT uses emotions as a source of healing and insight. It is especially effective for moderate depression, issues of childhood abuse and couples in the middle of a conflict. Holistic Psychotherapy Holistic psychotherapy integrates other therapeutic approaches and focuses on the relationship between mind, body and spirit. Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy [ISTDP] ISTDP helps clients permanently change character flaws in a short period of time by releasing emotional inhibitions and discussing the source of character issues. Interpersonal Psychotherapy [IPT] IPT focuses on interpersonal issues such as relationships and major life events. Its goal is to improve mood and interpersonal issues within 6-20 weeks. Journey Therapy In journey therapy the therapist guides the client on a mental and emotional journey to uncover repressed memories that have created issues in the present. Jungian Psychotherapy Jungian psychotherapy focuses on the balance of consciousness and unconsciousness. Clients can become more whole and well-adjusted by achieving this balance and exploring both sides. Logotherapy Logotherapy focuses on the pursuit of meaning and purpose in one’s life. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy This therapy combines the best of CBT with mindfulness strategies that help clients assess thoughts in the present. Motivation Enhancement Therapy [MET] MET focuses on improving motivations to make positive changes and eliminate maladaptive patterns. Narrative Therapy Narrative therapy helps clients interpret their experiences as stories that give meaning to their lives and guide them. It encourages people to identify their skills, values and knowledge so they can use them to live well. Positive Psychotherapy This approach helps clients view their illness or issues in a positive way. It focuses on the abilities of the client, inner balance, storytelling and hope. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy [REBT] REBT helps clients develop rational thinking to facilitate healthy emotional behavior and expression. It is similar to CBT. Reality Therapy Reality therapy focuses on present issues and encourages clients to change behavior that might be preventing them from addressing those issues. It operates under the principle that people experience distress when they are not meeting five basic needs: power, love/belonging, freedom, fun and survival. Redecision Therapy Redecision therapy helps clients examine messages from caretakers and adults in their childhood, as well as any negative decisions. Regression Therapy Regression therapy addresses three layers of consciousness and helps clients align them. Relational Psychotherapy Relational psychotherapy helps client become cognitively and emotionally healthy by forming and maintaining fulfilling relationships. Schema Therapy Schema therapy helps clients identify the cognitive and behavior patterns that are causing or maintaining their mental health issues. It is especially effective in treating borderline personality disorder. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy [SFBT] SFBT focuses on goals for the present and future rather than addressing the past or symptoms. Symbolic Modeling This therapeutic approach uses symbols, progressive questioning, metaphors and modeling to enact positive change.

Integrated or Singular Therapeutic Approach?

I use an integrated approach that combines various aspects of the aforementioned therapeutic approaches. I then customize the approach based on the client’s needs and preferences. An integrated approach is usually more effective than a singular therapeutic approach. There are, however, circumstances where a client might benefit more from just a singular approach.