Different types of counselling and psychotherapy, which one is right for me?

The differences in counselling.

Different types of counselling and psychotherapy, which one is right for me?

The differences in counselling.

We know of many different types of counselling that can be used to provide mental care to the person or group of people receiving counselling. The psychotherapist must choose which approach to therapeutic intervention will be appropriate to the specific case and situation. In addition, the therapist must be certified with experience to work in a specific modality. What I am saying here does not mean that the therapist must have a degree in a particular treatment. However, it is good if your psychotherapist will keep some recognized papers or it can be easily explained that he is providing humanistic or psychoanalytic treatment.

In my personal example, I can say, “yes I provide humanistic-existential practice ” because in that modality I got training. However, as a psychotherapist, I was trained in general counselling and psychotherapy approach but my choice is working in a humanistic modality with the Rogerian approach which is Person-Centred Therapy and Beck’s Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. You can freely ask the therapist if they can work on bereavement or CBT therapy.

Usually, the psychotherapist knows in which field he cannot work, and which is very well known to him.

Some types of counselling are: spiritual, supportive, crisis, individual, preventive, group, family and grief counselling.

I will describe in simple words the last three, that are:

  • group counselling,
  • family counselling,
  • grief counselling
  • etc.

Group counselling, as the name suggests, is a consultation for a group of people, not for an individual participant in therapy.

Several problems can be carried out in particular group therapy, e.g. addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, schizophrenia and others, which can be conducted in groups. By participating in this type of therapy, we can gain many benefits not only from meeting people with similar experiences or feelings, which will facilitate understanding of the problem we are struggling with and allow us to better understand ourselves.

Today’s therapy involves small groups of seven to twelve members, which allows for more comfortable meetings for clients and therapists.

At the beginning of the group session, the therapist encourages the client to introduce himself to the other member, tell him why he is participating in therapy, and what he expects of these sessions. The therapist then invites someone to talk about their own experiences and thoughts that arose during illness or suffering. Some members do not participate partially in several sessions until they are fully comfortable participating in the discussion. Instead, they just sit and listen before they feel ready to talk. However, that behaviour may not be accepted by other members of this group but it is ok if someone does not talk for a while. This is also a process as silence in therapy. That is time for a particular group member to process some thoughts in their own time and that should be respected by others.

Family counselling is offered when a family is in a difficult situation and is unable to solve the problem on its own. During family therapy, family members work with one or more therapists to improve relationships and family life. The therapist tries to explore the problem inherent in family life and find out what his views are on a given situation and plan together how to solve the dilemma.

Sessions are held with individual family members, ranging from 45 minutes to 1 hour, during which the family member was free to comment on what was bothering him. Family counselling takes several weeks as it is the time needed for each family to resolve a problem. However, it is often the case that only one family member who has a problem affects the rest of the household, that could be a child or an adult, or caregivers and the elderly.

For many families that type of counselling can be beneficial.

Using a form of family therapy can help to solidify the relationship for marriage. Before the family decides to find counselling support, they have one option and that was the separation, divorce to finalise the drama in the family home which is created by many factors and individuals.

In the family there can be an issue with domestic abuse and the therapist is also not indifferent to parental abuse and problems with teenagers, in that case, a social worker. If not the police. Police or social workers will be involved especially when children are involved in domestic abuse. The counsellor is obligated to inform the social worker in Tusla or any relative organs who is responsible for the health and safety of the family. The same situation will happen in counselling session one to one where the client is at risk of self-harm, suicide or involve in harm other people.

Bereavement and grief counselling is a form of psychotherapy in which we can learn to deal with the loss of a loved one and remain grieving for as long as necessary. It is up to us and how long such a period will last and we should not insist here because each of us has a different reaction, and each has a different degree of attachment to a lost person or a pet that remained a family member.

The counsellor psychotherapist focuses on travelling together with the client in the pain of losing and finding the meaning of inner balance and re-learning one’s own feelings and behaviours, which are often surprising ourselves

“as long as we do, we will not see it ourselves” despite the fact that we can describe in words what we feel, it takes time to understand what happened to us.

There are several tasks, such as adapting the aid to the stages of mourning. Help them to accept reality by going from denial to recognizing facts and so on. Help reflect the emotions that are in touch with their feelings, and not an easy process, often we do not recognize what is going with us, because of core beliefs. However grief needs to be a process – otherwise, it may come back in a different form in a later period.

The task of the psychotherapist is to bring the sufferer to a situation in which he allows him to express the client’s hitherto hidden emotions. The psychotherapist will work with crying, aggression and regret. The client will find a place where he will be able to free himself from his emotions. The Therapist will take the burden of human guilt off their shoulders and help them adapt to the new reality. Sometimes it can be a distraction from what is lost and what lies ahead. After all, the person who has lived the grief of loss must find what is lost in a new place in their life. That is, to establish new roles and new perspectives that change frequently.

The attitude towards the lost continues to evolve, although it still holds an important place in feelings and memories. Therapists will work with a client who needs to find strength and motivation to continue.

I just give some examples of where psychotherapy may take place. Follow my next articles if you have any interest in this topic or just write to me.

Published by Marcin Bogucki

Counselling & Psychotherapy for both English and Polish speakers.

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