What does psychotherapeutic training contain?
The training I have undertaken contains many different modalities of therapy and would be termed under a general heading of integrative, this term simply acts like a title, to which all the follow types of therapy would follow;
Attachment theory; is formed by Bowlby a psychoanalyst in the early 20th century who believe that mental health and behaviour problems were based in childhood, I am sure you will be aware that we form relationships with one another from the moment we enter the world, i.e. mother, father, siblings but they can also be called attachments, however sometime those relationships don’t work out as well as we would like, or we feel we are working hard to keep them on an even keel. So we are left questioning why, well the answer maybe in the relationship and by exploring the nature of that relationship it can guide you to learn what was potentially missing for you in the first place.
Developmental theory; I wanted to talk about this one next as attachment theory and developmental theory work alongside each other. When we have interruption in our relationships with parents, siblings or others this can leave us with an emotional gap, these gaps could be for any reason, abuse, bereavement, or addiction however it can leave us feeling alone or frustrated that we are not reaching are goals in life. However, with the right support you have the ability to change and grow to meet your full potential.
Gestalt Therapy; was developed essential by Fritz Perl’s in the 1940 and is relational theory principle that every individual is a whole (mind, body and soul), and that they are best understood in relation to their current situation as he or she experiences it. An example of this might be hunger, you feel the hunger, so you eat a meal then in turn you feel the satisfaction of that and so the hunger goes away. The approach combines this relational theory with present state – focusing strongly on self-awareness and the ‘here and now’ (what is happening from one moment to the next). In gestalt therapy, self-awareness is key to personal growth and developing full potential. The approach recognises that sometimes this self-awareness can become blocked by negative thought patterns and behaviour that can leave people feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. This modality of therapy allows us to bring feeling and expression of feeling in to work, allowing for colour, music and poetry and anything that would help you express the emotion you are feeling.
Congruence and Empathy; is devised by Carl roger in the 1950 and these two elements are based in his person centred approach to counselling. Congruence is an easy explanation, as it simply refers to the counsellor’s ability to be honest with their clients and also themselves when working with a client as well as encouraging clients to do a similar process. Empathy, as most people understand the meaning of it and understand to have their own level of empathy. However for a counsellor, empathy needs to be monitored as clients can find it overwhelming or patronising depending on their circumstances, as a therapist it is knowing when the right time is and how much is appropriate for each client.
Emotional dependency, this is a subject that is not easy to simplify but I shall endeavour to try, growing up we are all encouraged to be independent, but essentially sometimes we all need someone to support us, this would be known as healthy dependency the ability to move in and out of a supported place to an independent place.
However, some people find life difficult to cope without the support of friends and family, these people can be anxious or nervous to try new things or reluctant to deal with big problems in their lives. They may feel unable to ask for support when they need it or feel they have to do it alone, in addition these people can feel embarrassed about needing help and carry on struggling. However this doesn’t mean that you have to remain in a position like that, anxiety can be reduced to normal levels.
Transactional Analysis; or TA as it known, this theory is formed by Eric Berne in the 1950’s this is a topic I have found most clients were able to relate and understand, it is a topic that based on a model called ego gram with in each one sits the parent, adult and child state that sits within us all, I feel sure some people will have heard the term ‘inner child’ this derives from TA. However what I have found is that clients relate most to the area of TA called ‘transaction’ the theory to this section of TA is that we take move between positions within the parent, adult, child ego gram when talking to another person (example, mother and child would be parent ego state talking to child ego state) by exploring this clients can better understand how interaction with another can remind them of a
Bereavement and loss; this theory was devised by Elizabeth Kubler Ross in the 60’s and her model describes the 5 stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance most people would suffer this through the death of a loved one however, the loss of a valued relationship either partner or friendship that has gone wrong on some level, may have the same effect on us, it is of no consequence how the relationship came to an end, if you are feeling low as a result then counselling may offer you the support you need to get back on your feet. As well as an understanding of where it went wrong. You can still experience any loss as a bereavement and all the complication that can bring into your life.
Projective identification, Projective identification is a process by which a person projects (this can be thought of in the same sense as a cinema screen, only we are imagining the characteristics of someone else and seeing them on a different person) his or her own thoughts and beliefs onto a third party. Often thought to be a defence mechanism, projective identification is generally associated with negative thoughts and actions that an individual considers unacceptable.
Transference and countertransference, is an analytical term devised by Freud but now has its base in psychodynamic therapy, when we meet new people, we can have a moment of ‘they remind me of’ this maybe for any reason such as a behaviour, personality traits or the words the person is using. Transference is neither a good or bad encounter it is just a store cupboard in your mind that remembers the memory. It’s the negative or positive feeling that is attached to it that can leave us feeling that people with a similar behaviour or personality are good or bad. Countertransference is partly is the therapist’s response to the client they are working with, as clients have the ability also to remind therapist of people they once knew but also the therapists chance to address and rebalance the negative transference that have been internalised by the client.
Dreams and there meaning, this is a theory devised by Freud’s ID ego, super ego theory, this concept is based on the theory that when we dream our subconscious mind informing us of unresolved matters or unresolved issues in our life, this was an important concept to Freud’s Oedipus complex however, In my opinion not all dreams share this content and may just be a reflection of what you have done or watched over recent weeks as our psyche is open to things we find impactful however that doesn’t mean to say that some dreams don’t have real meaning that can be worked.
Personality styles and disorders, this is the medical model of personality by which psychiatrists determine the personality of a patient and the disorders to which they may be suffering from. While I am not a psychiatrist for myself I use this information as an aid and a guide, it allows me the wisdom of understanding the basics but doesn’t define the person in front of me as we are all shaped differently but may have some of the elements of a given personality. I do not use this to label my clients it simply to allow me to plan any counselling so that it will be more effect for client I am supporting.
Relationship theory. This as a theory is a relatively new concept in therapy and counselling and for many it will relate to couples however, in this instance it is not just for couples. The bases to this is found in many of the theories I have already mentioned above. This form of therapy is based on the knowledge that we are all shaped and defined by the relationships we form if those are healthy relationships that allows us to grow to our full potential we are happier and more content with ourselves and our lives, however if we have suffered abuse neglect or trauma and are relationships are not supportive it impacts are ability to grow and develop the way we would like.
I have also covered specific areas of interest, such as sexuality and shame.