What is Therapy?

What does Relational Therapy mean?

Relational psychotherapy addresses the connection between clients’ presenting problems (e.g. depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.) and their relational problems and deficits. A client’s relationship patterns – both within the therapy setting as well as outside of it – are explored in therapy. Everything that takes place within therapy sessions, including the interactions between therapist and client and the client’s response to interventions used in therapy, have relational meaning. Therapy involves both parties working together to discover that meaning, as well as to continually explore and understand the relational dynamics that occur between them.

Relational psychotherapy is a particularly effective form of treatment for anyone struggling with frequent or chronic distress due to relational issues, as well as most types of chronic psychological and emotional disorders and problems.


What does Psychodynamic Therapy mean?

In psychodynamic therapy, therapists help people review emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences and beliefs to gain insight into their lives and their present-day problems and to evaluate the patterns they have developed over time. Recognising recurring patterns helps people see the ways in which they avoid distress or develop defense mechanisms as a method of coping so that they can take steps to change those patterns.

The therapeutic relationship is central to psychodynamic therapy as it can demonstrate the manner in which the client interacts with his or her friends and loved ones. In addition, transference in therapy – the transferring of one’s feelings for a parent, for example, onto the therapist – can also help illuminate the ways that early-life relationships affect a person today. This intimate look at interpersonal relationships can help a person to see his or her part in relationship patterns and empower him or her to transform that dynamic.

Psychodynamic therapy is available to individuals, couples, families or groups as short-term or long-term therapy. Brief psychodynamic therapy is goal-oriented and can take as many as 25 sessions, whereas long-term psychodynamic therapy may take two years or more.


What does Person-Centered Psychotherapy mean?

Person-centered therapy, which is also known as client-centered, non-directive or Rogerian therapy is an approach to counselling and psychotherapy that places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a non-directive role.

Two primary goals of person-centered therapy are increased self-esteem and greater openness to experience. Some of the related changes that this form of therapy seeks to foster in clients include closer agreement between the client’s idealised and actual selves; better self-understanding; lower levels of defensiveness, guilt and insecurity. More positive and comfortable relationships with others and an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur.


What is Self-Identity?

Knowing who we really are plays a key role in how we think, how we feel and how we actually go about our day to day lives. Without knowing our personal identity we are much like a rudderless ship drifting aimlessly on the ocean, subject to the whims of the tides and winds. For this reason knowing our self-identity is important.

It has been said that if people would only know their true identity, then they would be happier, more content and more loving first to themselves and then to others. I believe that there is a great deal of truth in that statement. If you don’t know who you are, your true identity, then how could you love yourself? You couldn’t because you would have no idea “who” you were loving. Is it the person your family tells you that you are? Or is it what people at work say about you? Perhaps the opinion of that irate person that cut you off in traffic? If you don’t know your true identity then you are open to negotiate opinions of others and then there is no way you can love yourself. Who will you be loving, yourself or the opinion of others. If you can’t love yourself then surely you can’t love others.

Without knowing your true identity you won’t be able to be content. If you have no idea who you are at the very core then you are always going to feel broken, like a part of you is missing. You can see how our sense of wholeness depends on our knowing our true identity. Without that knowledge of who we are, without that wholeness, we will feel unhealed, lonely and alone. If you feel like you are living a life of stress, frustration and disappointment then you are probably living a life that is inconsistent with your true and authentic identity.

So you can see to know self-identity is important because it contains your gifts, talents and capabilities. When we know who we are, our true and authentic identity, we no longer have to go around existing as something less than we really are. We will be healthy, healed and whole inside and living a life that is consistent with our true nature rather than perhaps viewing ourselves in a poor light because that’s what has been jammed into us and reinforced by negative circumstances.