What is Psychotherapy?
In Ancient Greek, the translation breakdown of psychotherapy is: (psyche) breath, spirit, soul and (therapy) healing/medical treatment. In short, psychotherapy is soul healing. Many shorten psychotherapy to “therapy”.
More modern definitions of psychotherapy are:
“the “treatment of mental or emotional disorder or of related bodily ills by psychological means. (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary)
“the informed and intentional application of clinical methods and interpersonal stances derived from established psychological principles for the purpose of assisting people to modify their behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and/or other personal characteristics in directions that the participants deem desirable” (American Psychological Association).
When we experience the challenges of life, our souls can become damaged, tarnished or bruised. That doesn’t imply that bruised, tarnished or damaged souls qualify for a mental health diagnosis (though for insurance to reimburse for psychotherapy services, a mental health diagnosis is necessary which is another topic for another day). So the myth that one must be “crazy” or “mentally ill” to participate in psychotherapy is a misnomer. Therapy is for anyone whos soul needs healing regardless of reason or diagnosis.
Why People Seek Therapy
People tend to seek therapy when their lives become dis-ordered by something. Often it is an overwhelming sense of anxiety, depression, grief/loss or addiction. Most of the times, these are presenting symptoms of an underlying issue. Perhaps there is an impending event, death anniversary or current situation that has triggered the persons symptoms leading to seeking therapy.
Many people come to therapy to gain insight when needing to make life altering decisions. Some people come into therapy to relieve a deep-seeded sense of loneliness. Some because they have had abusive or traumatic things occur in their past that they just can not move past or face. Some come because of a newly diagnosed mental health or physical illness.
Regardless of the reason, making the decision to embark on a soul healing journey is one of the most courageous things you can do for yourself. It is the first step in the healing process. Like deciding to take care of your physical body by exercising and eating right, therapy is a great way to care for your emotional self.
Paths of Soul Healing
Therapy is typically face to face with a licensed therapist either one on one, with groups, couples, or families. It requires a confidential therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client(s). Without the establishment of this relationship, the deep work of soul healing can not occur.
In general, there are many different types of therapy or modalities. At Beauty for Ashes Counseling, LLC, our therapists specialize in many different types of therapy, including but not limited to:
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy
Trauma-Informed Art Therapy
Internal Family Systems Therapy
Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy
These types of therapies will be defined and explained further in separate blog posts at a later date.
Duration of Psychotherapy
How long does therapy take? The duration of therapy is different for everyone but the short answer is, it takes as long as it takes. Because people seek help for different reasons, and because they are all at different places of their journey, they all will heal, grow and change at a different pace. What may take one person 2 months to overcome, may take someone else two years. There is just no set time schedule for the healing process.
If you are concerned about the length of therapy, either that it’s taking too long or not long enough, I encourage you to discuss this with your therapist. The therapeutic treatment plan should list specific therapeutic goals and track progress towards those goals. If the treatment seems to not be moving fast enough, you may want to examine the therapeutic environment and possible barriers that may exist. If it is moving too quickly, you also should discuss that with your therapist and jointly examine who is setting the pace of therapy. The one thing to remember is that healing has it’s own timeline. It can not be rushed.
If you or someone you love would benefit from therapy, we are happy to help you find the right therapist for the journey. Even if you are not in close proximity to us, it would be our pleasure to assist you in connecting with a therapist in your area to start you on your way to healing.