Psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy or simply “therapy,” is a kind of treatment aimed at soothing psychological distress, managing stress and worry, and helping relationships as well as psychological illness. Therapy includes examining and gaining understanding into life experiences, choices and difficulties dealt with by individuals, partners and families. It can be provided by a variety of qualified professionals– psychologists, social workers, or licensed counselors. You will want to make sure that your therapist is licensed by the standards of the country you live in. In general, Psychologists have the most education and experience as most countries require a doctorate degree in clinical psychology to become one. Here in Malaysia, a Masters degree is required instead so you will want to ensure that your therapist has the correct degree.
What is a Therapy Session?
Therapy sessions refer to 50 minute sessions between a licensed professional and a client with a goal of improving some element of their life or resolving an issue. There is no singular approach to therapy, but there are evidence based techniques that have been researched and proven to be effective with specific psychological issues. Of these, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which aims at helping you understand the world and your experience in a more helpful way, is the most well known. You may want to search evidence based therapy techniques to see which approaches sound helpful to you. The critical element is that the client work collaboratively with the therapist to identify approaches to therapy that they are most comfortable with. It is always a good idea to ask a therapist what their approach to therapy is and to collaborate to make sure that approach is best for you.
Why Should I go to Therapy?
Most individuals, no matter their specific difficulties, can gain from having an objective observer listen and provide perspective. However, therapy is more than just a listening ear. Therapists go through years of education and training to understand how to guide patients out of unhelpful cycles and patterns and to instill healthier behaviours and boundaries.
The decision to start therapy often is not an easy one. Clients may be hesitant to open up to a stranger or to face painful experiences and feelings. Most clients I speak to report having put off starting therapy and having searched for a therapist multiple times before committing to therapy. My advice here is to think about your psychological well being like you do about your physical health. Putting off finding help only means there will be more to deal with and further consequences. Information is power. Meeting with a therapist at least for an initial consultation can provide the information you need to force a way out of your current problems. Clients usually experience a sense of relief following the first session with a growing sense of comfort and trust throughout the first two to three sessions. To determine whether therapy is right for you at this time, consider whether you feel at your best.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, burnout etc interfering with your ability to feel content or function?
- Have you been withdrawing from others or spending less time with the people you love?
- Have others mentioned that you are acting differently?
- Have you been experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches and digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, muscle tension, episodes of your heart beating faster or chest feeling tighter?
- Has a transition or difficult experience happened recently?
- Are you having trouble concentrating, difficulty carrying out tasks, low energy and motivation?
This is by no means a complete list but all of these questions separately indicate good reasons to seek a consultation from a therapist. If someone is struggling with relationship difficulties, feeling overly embedded in their profession, find themselves counting on medications, alcohol, or food to manage undesirable feelings, or feel separated from individuals around them, they might find treatment to be tremendously helpful.
Yet psychological distress and difficult experiences aren’t the only reasons to seek therapy. Some seek therapy for the purposes of personal growth and increasing insight into the path they want to take in life. Sometimes therapy is sought when individuals are feeling stable and want to know how to make more meaning out of their lives. It is important to remember that no issue is to trivial for therapy.
How Do I find a Therapist?
There are many thoughtful and reliable specialists in the world– however not each and every single specialist is the best person to help every person seeking therapy. Though it can be discouraging for people , locating the appropriate therapist is typically a procedure of experimentation and finding the right fit. While the possibility of searching for a therapist can without a doubt be overwhelming, several online tools can make the procedure dramatically less complicated. Using search engines, or insurance company’s on-line list of recommended therapists, prospective customers can find therapists (either in their location or that are licensed to offer online therapy that take their insurance coverage and who strike them as a prospective good fit based upon technique, gender, or the most typical concerns dealt with. From there, customers ought to contact a few possible candidates and take actions toward establishing their very first consultation. Also researching therapists and reading through their websites, social media and blogs provides significant information on their style of therapy.
Can I Help a Loved One Find a Therapist?
Absolutely. It is painful to watch a loved one struggle and can s trigger sensations of vulnerability and fear about the future . However while the choice to go after therapy should be, in a lot of instances, exclusively up to the individual, it is possible for concerned others to supply emotional support along with concrete help. This can mean linking them with educational resources concerning therapy, helping them identify possible clinicians in their area, establishing visits, or supplying transportation to their first session.
Several types of therapy have been shown to be reliable at dealing with usual psychological wellness difficulties, and also establishing which strategy is “ideal” for a particular person usually boils down to the specific problems, the alliance they have the ability to form with their therapist, and personal preference. Customers that are pertaining to therapy with specific psychological wellness issues– such as obsessive uncontrollable problem or post-traumatic stress– may benefit most from a professional that concentrates on exposure response prevention therapy (ERP for OCD) or someone who specialises in women’s issues (post partum depression) while those seeking aid with relationship or family members issues may gain from marriage as well as family therapy.
Will I have the ability to manage treatment?
The expense of therapy, and whether it can fit into a customer’s budget, will likely depend upon a few elements, including the person’s insurance policy coverage, their location, as well as their income. While some therapists bill an established cost per session, others use a sliding scale based on customers’ income. In lots of locations, low- or no-cost treatment is available for low-income clients, frequently through universities or various other therapist training programs. Prospective clients need to confirm their insurance protection, along with the therapist’s fee structure, before setting up an appointment.
It is helpful to think of therapy as an investment in your future and wellbeing. We often find that clients are much less likely to questions fees by medical doctors but may hesitate when it comes to their mental health. Most sessions with private specialists cost between RM 200-500, with those with more education and experience costing more money. While it may be tempting to seek the cheapest options, you do not want to waste time in therapy with someone ineffective. Therapy is an investment in time, energy and money.
What will the initial session of therapy be like?
The initial session of treatment can be anxiety-provoking, and I promise that as therapists we will try to make it as painless as possible!. Remember therapy is for you and you do not have to share any information you do not want to. Simply stating that you are not comfortable talking about something yet is enough. I also encourage clients to provide a snapshot of traumatic incidents or issues that it is important I know about, without revisiting the incident or going into any more details.
The good news is, that the first session largely focuses on basic inquiries to obtain a sense of the client’s background, their previous experience with treatment, and also what issues they’re wishing to address. They will certainly likewise likely discuss their very own method or style and supply an overview of what the client can anticipate. Logistical details, such as validating insurance coverage and establishing a payment timetable, may occur in the first session as well.
What are the red flags of an Unprofessional Therapist?
Even qualified and ethical therapists can make mistakes or accidentally upset a client. Yet there are some specialists, unfortunately, who may not be professional or ethical. Usual indications of therapists with poor boundaries include speaking too much– to the point where the customer feels incapable to speak about their own problems– or sharing inappropriate details regarding their very own individual life. Specialists who are judgmental or snobbish to the client are additionally likely bad fits, as are specialists are not remaining objective or aware of their own personal biases. You should always expect your confidentiality and privacy to be maintained and the focus of therapy to be on you as a client. A therapist’s issues are not your issues. You deserve to have a protected safe space to work on yourself with an individual that is safe, stable and has good boundaries.
When does therapy finish?
Therapy generally ends when the client feels they have accomplished their objectives or when they feel they are no more making progress; in many cases, logistical problems, such as moving, necessitate completion of therapy. Additionally, it is feasible for a specialist to establish that they are not the most effective expert to assist a specific client.
When this happens, the therapist will generally refer the client to one more service provider, where they can proceed job if they so choose.
The average length of therapy is 3 months or 12 sessions. However some individuals may choose to come for a couple of session whereas some clients choose to take part in therapy for years. Therapy is a collaboration, you are a specialist as is your therapist.
I am Dr. Cassandra Aasmundsen-Fry, Psy.D. If you are experiencing distress or want to improve your well being, please reach out to me to book a session over Zoom or in person. I can be reached by WhatsApp at +60125472408 or at Cassandra@Mindwell.biz. I am a Clinical Psychologist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology who sees both individuals and couples in Mont Kiara, KL, Malaysia.