What Is Psychotherapy All About?
Article by John Spearman
In a nutshell, psychotherapy offers the possibility of uncovering whatever might be getting in the way of your living a fuller and more creative life. This might be chronic stress, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, loneliness or any number of other challenges.
In a safe and secure environment, we explore together, psychotherapist and client. Slowly, the feeling of safety, and of truly being heard – perhaps for the first time in your life – may allow you to begin to open up to new ways of connecting with others and yourself. And to open up to your birthright: a true zest for life and relationship.
Psychotherapy, typically, begins with an initial consultation – offering the client and therapist a chance to meet. It is an opportunity to ask questions and find out if the therapist feels ‘right’; it might also be an opportunity for you to begin to speak about what has brought you to psychotherapy. And if you do decide to commit to a further session, or more, the conversation between therapist and client can slowly deepen.
Sometimes, what looks to the outside world like confidence, security and wisdom, may conceal a storm-tossed person full of stress and anxiety. In psychotherapy, we may dare to see the gap between this false, accomodating self and the true self. And to glimpse the possibility of living more authentically.
And so we may begin the process of growing up on the inside, in our inner world, as well as on the outside, in our worldly self. And as we trace this inner life of a person – underneath all the stress and anxiety – and discover their untold story, we find out how we may become more capable of truly having our own experience. And finding our own place in the world.
Alongside the evolving conversation, psychotherapy may include other ways of working in the room. We may use art materials to explore and express feelings through images: and through this business of image-making we are literally creating what has never been before, and seeing possibilities we might never have imagined.
Or we might work with the possibility of exploring movement in the room, attending to the breath and the sensations that this might elicit. We might also include a sensitive and respectful use of touch to bring awareness to ‘forgotten’ emotional realities that may be held in our physical selves.
Essentially, psychotherapy is a process of meeting you exactly where you are. This is where the journey begins. A journey without a specific destination and without a charted route. This step beyond what we currently know about ourselves is the heart of the adventure.
John Spearman is a registered psychotherapist offering private counselling services in North London UK. One of the services he offers is Art Therapy, a method of communication that can often provide the conduit by which a client can truly communicate their troubles and thus allow the process of healing to commence. See http://www.johnspearman.com