There is no doubt that the world of psychotherapy, counselling and complementary therapy has much to offer us as human beings, working towards emotional well-being and physical good health. But occasionally, it seems, the simple fact that there are so many different types of therapy to choose alongside, or instead of, conventional medicine confuses the lay person. The language excludes them, the choices are too numerous and the benefits seem uncertain.
It is difficult to address this. Therapists often stay within their ‘modality’ or specific approach, others are happy to work across the different schools of thought. But what is most important is the eventual benefit to those who seek help.
Gestalt, Humanistic, Core Process, Cognitive behavioural, Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, Neuro-linguistic programming, Life-coaching. Hypnotherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Bowen, Homeopathy, Cranio-sacral, Acupuncture. These are but a few of the options open to a newcomer to the field. For many, even the apparent distinction between ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ is confusing. Some feel the therapy will prove too expensive; they don’t realise that they are also involved in the work and that often the therapy must continue for a long time. Some might need to come with a partner, or will be best served in individual or group work.
So it is really important to explain all the possibilities to a client, and offer sufficient time to make a proper assessment. Some clients will sit with a therapist, with whom they cannot properly connect, simply because they are too embarrassed to say so. The triggers that have encouraged them to seek help are many and various and it is the skill of the therapist that ensures the interactions are successful and that sensitive issues are handled properly. An in-depth training is vital of course, but a good therapist is not born of book-reading.
Are there any therapies you would like more information about? Do you think the world of psychological therapies and complementary medicine is too confusing and exclusive?