Latin for ‘mind-study’, psychology is the field of research and practice that deals with human thought, emotion, behaviour and relationships. Those who practise in the area, psychologists, can work in research, organizational settings, counseling, advertising, and teaching.
Psychologists and psychiatrists (medical doctors trained in psychology) have developed many theories to explain human experience including psychodynamic theory (that people can be explained by their history), cognitive-behavioural theory (that people’s behaviour is driven by their thoughts), existential theory (that human share certain basic experiences by being alive) and learning theory (that behaviour is triggered by learnt associations and rewarded by consequences).
A good psychotherapist (someone qualified in psychology who focuses on assisting people with problems by discursive counseling), can identify the unique qualities of a client and combine that with strong theoretical knowledge to help with the problem the client presents. Good psychotherapy identifies clear aims and creates real outcomes for improving relationships, parenting, career, health, friendships, personal development and overcoming difficult transitions in life.
Choosing your therapist starts by knowing that they are not all the same – you are looking for a relationship in which you feel understood, can trust the therapist enough to be open and challenge yourself, and are willing to give-up current ways of being to gain new insight, skills and experiences.
A counsellor or coach provides a unique space for you to speak in confidence to someone outside your personal situation. Talking helps you to process and cope with life’s intense situations, and gain greater clarity in your own self-understanding. Some issues people commonly seek counseling for include:
- getting “unstuck” in life
- improving relationships
- coping with the effects of trauma or loss
- controlling addictions
- coping with or curing phobias
- creating greater self-acceptance and self-esteem
- finding and releasing old patterns of behaviour which no longer serve
our best interest
- support for emotional and spiritual self-development
Counselling is a personal commitment to your own journey.