What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the treatment of psychosocial or psychosomatic behavioural disorders and states of suffering with psychotherapeutic methods learned after training. These can be, for example, the interaction between a patient and a psychotherapist with the aim of alleviating or eliminating existing symptoms, changing disturbed behaviour patterns and attitudes and promoting the maturation, development and health of the treated person.
Psychotherapy is not only something for 'mentally ill' people; it is also a way of personality development for 'normal' people. In general, this division into 'sick' and 'normal' contemporaries can only be maintained under technical and psychiatric aspects. Otherwise we know that the transitions between mental disorders and mental health are fluid. Strictly speaking, there are no completely mentally healthy people. Mental health is an ideal of life that can be striven for anew every day. Mental recovery must be provided again and again. It is the same with physical health: It is always possible to live even healthier. Mental health needs care and attention.
The first interview (with a psychotherapist in private practice)
Maybe you are a little excited before the first meeting. That is natural; after all, you can tell a complete stranger very personal things about yourself! So make a note of a few points you want to address and any questions you may have for the therapist, for example:
- What is the biggest burden for me at the moment?
- What can I expect during the treatment and how can this help me?
- How long will the treatment take?
- Does the person have experience with my particular problem?
After the first interview, take a few days to think about the following aspects before you decide to work together:
- Do you feel comfortable and in good hands with the person?
- Do you like the person?
- Can I confide in this person?
- If you are inhibited from explaining everything, this may mean that the person is not right for you. Or maybe you are just afraid of losing the respect of your counterpart when you say certain things about yourself. Make it clear that dealing with psychological problems is part of the therapeutic work. Your therapist will never judge you for what you think, do or are. Take this chance!
- Do I have the feeling that the person perceives and responds to the atmosphere of the conversation or my mood?
- Do I have the feeling that my therapist is responding to the things that are important to me?
If you do not have a good feeling about it, do not waste your time. Find someone else.
Psychotherapy course structure
At the beginning of each therapy, you generally have five sessions to get to know your counterpart, to define the goals and treatment options of the therapy and to have a diagnosis made.
Remember: these sessions take place to help you and live from dialogue.
An outpatient cognitive behavioural therapy or deep psychological treatment, for example, lasts about 20 to 40 hours. Psychoanalysis/deep psychological therapy usually takes longer. The aim is to recognise complexes and conflicts and to make them visible, so that the treatment can help you to deal with yourself and the world in a more mature and reflective way. This form of therapy can also prove its worth in the case of deeper bonding disorders.