…give me chemo today? I must admit not having received it on Monday I really noticed the difference as I was soon back to my excitable old self. I do appreciate I need it so it can get on with doing its job but it was good to get a glimpse of what it might be like when I am in remission. I have a little way to go yet though and 1-3 more cycles of chemo to endure. If only I could say I”m OK now lets not bother with the rest. Never mind perhaps they will just give me a reduced dose today so the side effects will be kept to a minimum. I do hope so as we are going to see the CC Smugglers playing at the Letchworth Arts Centre on Saturday night. I think there are some tickets left if anyone else fancies coming along for a preview of the band who are playing at my charity birthday party in July.
So back to which therapy?
Two for the price of one today!
Starting with ….good old fashioned counselling?
Counselling is sometimes used as an umbrella term for a range of different therapeutic approaches. The word ‘counselling’ or ‘counsellor’ covers a broad spectrum, from someone who is highly trained to someone who uses counselling skills (listening, reflecting back what you say, or clarifying) as part of another role, such as nursing.
I am using the term here to mean a style of talking therapy delivered by a trained professional.
Counselling provides a regular time and space for people to talk about their troubles and explore difficult feelings in an environment that is dependable, free from intrusion and confidential. A counsellor should respect your viewpoint while helping you to deal with specific problems, cope with crises, improve your relationships, or develop better ways of living. Time is given for a trusting relationship to be developed.
Despite the name, counsellors don’t usually offer advice. Instead, they help you to gain a better insight into your feelings. They do this by listening to what you have to say , and reflecting and clarifying with you what you have meant by these words. They may notice and point out any incongruent inconsistencies. For example if you are talking about a happy situation but your body language is showing a different story.
Sessions usually take place once a week. Making this regular commitment may give you a better chance of finding out why you are having difficulties. Some people stay in this type of counselling for many years.
In general, a counsellor will listen to you without butting-in or imposing their own values and beliefs on you. They will give you the space to explore your thoughts, feelings, or behaviour, whatever they are. People can find it helpful just to have their concerns taken seriously.
For me personally, although I think there may be a place for this type of more longer term counselling, I am not sure it works as well as some of the other therapies that offer shorter term solutions. Maybe I want a quick fix? I have spoken regularly throughout this blog about the importance of time and for some people, having more time to reflect on their situation and explore for themselves a way forward is perhaps helpful?
And of course, there is no such thing as one-size-treats all approach to therapy. Every person and their life experiences make them unique. This means that the approach taken to help you through what you may be struggling with should also be unique and should be customised to meet your needs.
Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, apply theoretical and clinical knowledge developed over the last hundred years. It grew out of the work of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who began developing his therapeutic techniques in the late 1800s.
In psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the therapist is not directive and will not usually give advice.
The process involves the therapist following and paying attention to whatever the client presents and offering their understanding of this, including possible unconscious influences. The aim is to enable the client to think in new ways about their life and thereby to find their own solutions to problems.
The therapeutic relationship is the foundation for this method and requires commitment and responsibility from both the psychotherapist and client. The aim is to work together to make sense of the clients’ emotional life and ways of functioning.
The work makes links between present and past as well as emphasising the clients’ here-and-now experience. Exploration of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the therapeutic relationship (also known as transference and countertransference) makes this work different from other therapies or from talking to a friend.
Through non-judgemental understanding and interpretative work within the therapeutic relationship, clients can recognise underlying meanings of dreams, conflicts and fantasies and the way in which thoughts and feelings are expressed and resisted. This understanding enables new choices to be made, and the fulfilment of individuals’ unique potential.
Psychoanalysts and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists complete theoretical and experiential post-graduate training following a professional qualification. They are required to undergo their own psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy as part of their training, which enables them to understand distress and symptoms, and be mindful of the possibilities of their own personal biases.
As you can perhaps see, there is a wealth of experience, theory and evidence behind this type of therapy and I have a great deal of respect for the training, and hard work that the therapist has undertaken in order to best support their client.
So the choice is getting greater, tomorrow I will explorer one of my favourites, Human Givens Psychotherapy and of course NLP.
Have a good Wednesday, not long till the weekend now, but don’t wait until then go out and enjoy today.
PS. I have noticed a reduction in comments , are you still out there? Perhaps I am just waffling on about subjects that are interesting to me but are not what you want to be reading about. I can talk about other things rather than mental health but I am not sure talking to myself is necessarily a good thing? So do let me know if you are still there.