Psychotherapy

There are many different versions of psychotherapy and each focus's on slightly different aspects of the human existence and the causes of personal problems. Some such as the "psychodynamic" relate more to early experiences in life and the way that they affect the individual in life today and rely upon close relationships between the client and the therapist. Others are more focused on our behaviour and the way that we perceive the world around us and seek to correct these perceptions into a more positive understanding. Yet others concentrate on the individual and the way they are today without overly concerning themselves with past causes, simply concentrating on how we can correct the problem in today's world. It is not practical to detail them all although your therapist will be pleased to discuss them with you in more detail should you so wish. The eclectic approach of The Paloma Centre takes elements from several different philosophies including psychodynamic, behavioural and person centred therapies. Some are briefly explained below.

The Psychodynamic school of thought believes that early negative life experiences, if not properly dealt with at the time, can affect us adversely through all of our later years. These early negative experiences, repressed into our unconscious mind, can surface later in life through our emotions, thoughts and dreams and as negative and self-limiting attitudes and behaviours. These can be only corrected if we can bring the original event into focus and deal with it in the present day. Typically this may deal with the results of early abuse, such as verbal, physical or sexual, or traumatic events that had deeper significance than was realised at the time, for example, seeing a nasty accident as a child, or witnessing violence or death in others. Other aspects of this therapy deal with our early family experiences and the way in which they may also give rise to compensating behaviour which itself may be unwelcome in our later life. Once the origins of the problem are understood healing can begin. Hypnosis may also be used in conjunction with aspects of these therapies to help with regression or for purposes such as relaxation and ongoing unconscious support. These therapies can be long lasting and, if the condition is serious, may need referral by the therapist to more specialist support.

The Behavioural school of thought, sometimes spoken of as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT), has less accent on the past and focuses more on the manner in which we perceive the world that we live in and how we react to it as a result of those perceptions. These therapies seek to alter our negative or unhelpful perceptions by rationalising them and suggesting more constructive interpretations of the same facts, thereby eliminating destructive thought patterns and resultant behaviour. Others work on the basis that the way that we behave is simply a learnt experience, not necessarily from a positive role model, and where such behaviour is unhelpful to the client it can be unlearnt or amended by different example. There is also a significant crossover with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). These therapies alleviate many worrying conditions from phobias to anxiety about many aspects of our lives and can significantly enhance inter-personal relationships.

Person Centred therapies (the basis of "Counselling"), or humanistic or client centred therapies, embrace a largely non-directive approach, the therapist acting as a positive, supportive, non-judgemental guide in allowing the client to find their best way forward to their own preferred solution to the issues that concern them. Requiring a close, understanding and empathetic relationship between the client and therapist these therapies allow the client to freely express their innermost thoughts, fears and emotions and thereby come to terms with that which is concerning them and from there, develop inner resources to cope with the issues involved. The accent is on helping the client to take responsibility for their own thoughts and deeds and developing self-confidence and self-reliance. These therapies tend to be "brief therapies" requiring a limited number of meetings to deal with any given suitable issue.

PDF DocumentDepression, a gender comparison