Therayp is a method of treating perceived difficulties.  There are many different types of therapy.  A clinic psychologist will help you to think through the most appropriate one for your difficulties during the assessment process.

What kind of issues do people see therapy for?

The answer to this question is clearly vast!  Anything that causes distress or concern may prompt someone to enter into therapy.  Therapy can also be a means of self discovery with no particular issue in mind.  The assessment process is designed to help you understand if therapy is an appropriate route to take. 

What happens in therapy?

A therapy session may vary depending upon the type you are involved in.  Some approaches will focus on your thoughts, others on your feelings, and others on your behaviours.  The approach that is recommended for you will be discussed with you at your assessment session.  It may be that a combination of all of the above approaches will be seen as the most appropriate intervention.

Depending on the recommended approach the therapist will behave in very different ways during the session.  for some approaches they may be very directive, offering specific suggestions, and for other approaches they may be more passive and may offer interpretations of your situation.  Some approaches will request that you complete tasks in between sessions and others will not.  It is important to discuss any concerns in your assessment session.

It is also dependent upon the chosen method of intervention as to whether it is recommended that you have a fixed number of sessions for your treatment or whether you enter into a more open-ended process of therapy.  If you are recommended a fixed amount of appointments there will be a review of the therapy half way through the treatment and another review at the end of treatment.  At this point if further goals for change are identified additional sessions may be recommended.

Types of Therapy

There are many different approaches and techniques used for therapeutic interventions.  However, the majority of these are informed by three major approaches as shown below:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    This therapy can be relatively short (6-12 sessions) or longer term (>12 sessions).  The aim is to help the individual to understand the link between their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The therapy process may involve you having to undertake homework assignments between sessions.  This therapy can be undertaken throughout the lifespan for individuals and groups.  It is often focused on the present but will be informed by aspects of the individual's thought processes that have developed in the past.  It is a structured and collaborative approach.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
    This therapy is traditionally more longer term, although can be undertaken on a shorter term basis.  The approach works with unconscious drivers in an individual and how these create discomfort when they interact with the conscious activitues of daily living.  There is a strong focus on the past in this approach.  The therapist will be less directive offering greater space for the individual to explore their unconscious processes.  This can often be uncomfortable for clients as they often report not knowing what to say.  The approach works through this sense of discomfort that may be evoked and what aspects of subconscious thought are raised when the individual feels anxiety.
  • Systemic Therapy
    This therapy, developed from family therapy, looks at the interactions of groups and systems and their dynamics and patterns.  It can be short or long term.  A systemic intervention can be undertaken with individuals with considerations to the dynamics and patterns of the systems and people in the everyday life.  the focus is on current issues and finding different ways for these to be understood.

There is also Integrative Therapy which iis undertaken when it is felt appropriate to blend theory and technique from a number of different approaches.

The Written Report

A therapy report will be forwarded to either yourself, or yourself and the referring agency within fourteen days of your last therapy appointment.  If you have been given a fixed number of sessions, a mid-therapy report will also be available.  This will include the original aims of the therapy, a summary of the work completed and evaluation of the effectivemness of the work and if appropriate recommendations for the future.  If you have not had the opportunity to discuss the content of the report within therapy then you may have some questions with regard to the content or may feel that there are important omissions.  If this is the case please call Dr King to discuss your concerns.  It may not always be possible to change the content of the report but an addendum report can outline the concerns you have addressed with Dr King's subsequent responses.