Psychotherapy is a “talking” treatment which aims to help people understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviours better and so change anything that is making them unhappy or ill. Psychotherapists use different theories and ideas about human development and relationships and use these to help their patients explore who they are. Psychotherapists don’t tell you what to do and what to feel but they will try to help you find a clearer view of yourself and your life.
The first step is to meet with a Psychotherapist and discuss briefly what your situation is and agree a way forward. Sessions are then weekly at the same time and place each week for as long as you need. Sessions last 50 minutes. Review sessions will be scheduled through your treatment to allow you and your therapist to look at your progress and check your goals.
TAKE TWO PILLS TWICE A DAY. - Psychotherapists are not Psychiatrists, so we don’t prescribe medication.
THERAPY IS FOR WOMEN. - Why? This is probably a myth originating from an idea that men don’t have feelings and if they do then they certainly can’t express them! Masculinity has been called a “straightjacket” and there is some truth in this. Men and women may be different to each other (that’s a whole other debate) but to say men don’t have feelings, that men don’t feel vulnerable, that men don’t ever need help or support is just absurd!
TALKING ABOUT MY FEELINGS WON’T HELP. - Humans are incredibly complicated but we are fundamentally social animals, i.e. we need others to survive. Sharing our resources, our skills, our knowledge is essential and the bonds we make with others is what fundamentally makes us human. Psychotherapy is about understanding all aspects of yourself - the emotional, physical, practical, intellectual, even spiritual parts of you.
YOU HAVE TO BE SERIOUSLY MENTALLY ILL TO NEED THERAPY - If you dropped a hammer on your toe, you might decide to live with the pain for a while, but then it goes purple and swells up. Maybe you continue to ignore it, now your whole foot starts to hurt and you have problems walking. Perhaps you still hope it will get better on its own, but now its infected and really, really painful. With hindsight, when should you have gone to the doctor? Exactly, Mental Health is exactly the same.
LIE DOWN HERE AND TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD - Whilst our early years are important in making us who we are, Psychotherapists are aiming to help you now not relive your past.
I WILL BECOME DEPENDANT ON MY THERAPIST - Psychotherapy depends on you making a connection with your therapist but Psychotherapy ultimately is about gaining understanding and independence. Sometimes this myth comes from a belief that Psychotherapy will go on forever. At the East London Mental Health, your therapist will agree with you at the start of your treatment what you want to achieve and will always be happy to discuss timescales with you during your treatment.