What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy offers an opportunity to reflect on one’s internal world of feelings and thoughts in the context of a therapeutic relationship.
It is a process of getting to know oneself and to make sense of some of the difficulties that can arise in one’s own mind and in relationships. It aims to make sense of the past but is particularly relevant for present and future relationships.
Psychotherapy is often a longer-term treatment as this affords the opportunity to effect lasting change rather than simply tackle symptoms. It is usually an individual treatment but for some adolescents and younger children it is often carried out with parent/s and young person together and sometimes with the whole family.
Brief, time limited therapy can also be very useful and is becoming increasingly popular. In this model of working the young person and/or their parents identify a particular goal and the focus of therapy is on working towards achieving this goal.
Research has shown that the benefits of psychotherapy can go on developing long after the treatment has ended.
Psychotherapy with adolescents and parents involves talking but with younger children it includes playing, drawing and using imagination to express oneself. Reflecting on dreams and creating stories can be a rich source of expression and for making sense of behaviour, thoughts and feelings.