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Deciding to go into psychotherapy is an important decision because it can have a major impact on your life. When thinking about going into therapy there are some important questions that you may want to ask yourself are: Why am I considering therapy? Will I benefit from psychotherapy? Where do I find a therapist? Is psychotherapy available through the NHS? If I go to a private psychotherapist how do I decide from all the different types of therapy available which would be the best one for me?
When considering therapy there are two very important things to think about namely, the type of therapy you choose and the therapist that you work with. No one therapy suits everyone. Opinions vary as to the efficacy and/or appropriateness of one type of therapy over another. However, research has consistently shown that different people will benefit from different therapies and that the key factor of what influences the therapy in the room appears to be the relationship between the client and therapists what is known as the therapeutic alliance. If you are thinking of going into psychotherapy you may be able to access a limited number of therapy sessions from your local NHS Primary Care Team. The sort of therapy and the way to request it often varies from area to area and so it would be important to discuss this with your GP to ensure that you are aware of your choices. A few years ago the government embarked upon a project to improve access to psychological services ( IAPT) and this operates in most areas. The scheme however primarily offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or counselling and it provides a limited number of sessions. If you are going to fund your own therapy it is important that you spend time deciding on the best therapy for you and that you chose a therapist with whom you feel you can work. This may mean visiting a few therapists before you decide. Psychotherapy trainings vary in length and require the therapist to engage in differing amounts of personal therapy. Persons who train as psychoanalytic psychotherapists are required to be in therapy throughout their 6 year training.
There are many reasons to begin psychotherapy sessions. Sometimes it is that you have a specific issue to look at such as:
Most people who go into therapy say that they benefited from having a time to sit with another person and to reflect upon aspects of their lives and gain better insight and understanding into their ways of being. An assessment with a therapist in which you can talk about what has been going on in your life can help you to decide whether this kind of process could be useful to you.
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