What Can Be Achieved With Psychotherapy?

What can be achieved with Psychotherapy?

Definitions about psychotherapy There are as many as there are books written about it. Personally, I stick with what Jerome Frank said: “Psychotherapy is a planned, emotionally charged interaction between a socially recognized healer and a suffering person.”.

Due to the intrusiveness that exists in psychotherapy and in psychological interventions in general, it is convenient to interpret this “healer” of Frank, as a licensed professional with sufficient experience in psychological theories and techniques.

What can be achieved in psychotherapy?

Personally, I do not understand psychotherapy as “a treatment” that patients receive from therapists. I believe that this vision of psychotherapy promotes a passive attitude of the client. On the contrary, psychotherapy is essentially a working relationship between psychotherapists and clients (patients), which is more advantageous and beneficial than the strategies that the latter are using up to that moment. This definition of psychotherapy involves three fundamental considerations.

It is important not to be confused: Finding out if the client is responsible for causing his own problems is not the objective of psychotherapy, let us remember that unconditional acceptance by the therapistof the person who comes to their services, is essential for the therapeutic relationship to work.

What it is about, what is a necessary condition to achieve the goals in psychotherapy in the appropriate direction for the client, is the therapist and client agreement so that the latter assumes the responsibility of seeking solutions.

The goals of psychotherapy

Basically, what is intended in psychotherapy is that the person who comes to it acquires self-knowledge, a good understanding of herself and the elements of her mental and emotional health. A successful therapeutic relationship must lead to a significant modification of those aspects that negatively condition the patient’s life.

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Naturally, goals in psychotherapy depend on the specific problems and desires of the clients, however, we can establish some goals that, in general, are common in many of the psychotherapeutic relationships that professionals maintain with our clients.

People come to therapy who experience anxiety, loneliness and depression as a result of feelings of demoralization and hopelessness, feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. With psychotherapy, we can reverse this situation helping the patient to experience, first of all, feelings of hope, strength, energy and determination to achieve their own goals. A strong therapeutic relationship is how you increase the client’s willingness to understand, accept, and take experiences and issues seriously.

On the other hand, therapeutic work based on the therapeutic relationship and the assumption of responsibility for change by the client strengthens the confidence in one’s own abilities and skills (in what I call the talents of each one), and they instill energy and determination oriented from their values, which is a good way to glimpse various paths to achieve the goals that the client wants.

That is, it strengthens the concept of self-efficacy to execute particular behaviors necessary that can exert therapeutic influence on the distorted thoughts by which we convince ourselves that we are what we think, on perceptions of failure, demotivation and coping difficulties and, how no, about the low moods and life challenges that cause anxiety and depression.

Overcome avoidance

We are afraid to suffer, we probably fear chronic pain more than death, or we associate it with suffering. We develop coping strategies to protect ourselves from these perceptions and the disrupted anxieties they provoke in us. Avoidance, as a coping strategy, is useful for problems that do not have long-term consequences; We will agree that it is not worth suffering stress for a problem that will solve itself in a short time. However, avoidance is a bad plan for problems that are not going to go away in a person’s life if they do not do something about it.

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Experiential avoidance is basically a form of denial and escape which requires cognitive distortions of thought and perception that, in general, further exacerbate the problem that is intended to be avoided. Therefore, controlling avoidance behaviors, accepting reality and develop coping patterns They are therapeutic achievements and constitute significant improvements in patients’ conflicts.

Overcoming avoidance and facing problems to find appropriate solutions or improvements to them is a main objective of psychotherapy. There is evidence in the literature on psychotherapy and from the particular experience of psychotherapists, that work directly on pain or the problem that the client brings to therapy is unavoidable for the effectiveness of the treatments.