Will I need to tell everything about myself to my psychotherapist?

The choice to say as little or a lot will be entirely yours.

The psychotherapist will expect you to tell her about the reasons you are seeking psychotherapy especially during the first assessment appointment. She may also invite you to tell her as much as you think she needs to know about who you are and what your present life circumstances are.

Will the psychotherapist keep confidential everything that I tell her?

The ethics of good psychotherapy practice require that whatever the client chooses to disclose during the sessions remains private.

However most psychotherapy associations, such as the British Psychoanalytic Council expect their members to consult with a senior colleague from time to time. These consultations are bound by the same rules of patient confidentiality. In order to ensure patient anonymity, patients’ names are never disclosed.

There are some occasions when the psychotherapist will want to contact your GP and will inform you beforehand or request your permission to do so.

In what way does psychodynamic psychotherapy differ from other therapies?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is usually considered a longer-term therapy than other therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural, Cognitive Analytical therapies. It is less focused on short-term aims and behavioural procedures and more on the gradual evolution of change in a patient’s capacity to come to terms with his or her situation, to feel stronger and arrive at a better understanding of him/her self. It tries to work at deeper levels of the client’s mind and emotions.

Does Psychotherapy work?

The problems that make people seek psychotherapy are so different in complexity and the many different varieties of psychotherapies on offer make it impossible for researchers to provide any quantitative evidence on whether psychotherapy in general ‘works’. However, most researchers agree that the experience of being listened to and taken seriously by someone who is an outsider and who can provide a calmer, non-judgmental ‘objective’ assessment of someone’s personal problems can be very beneficial.

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