What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the art of systematic use of relationship between therapist and client. It enables the client to view the dynamic process connected to how they relate and to all of their relationships, most particularly their relationship with themselves. (Everything exists only in relationship, and relationship is significant in all healing)
The type and style of relationship between therapist and client is determined by the needs of the client. The therapist provides space for understanding, awareness, reparation and healing. This may be supportive in crisis, reparative, transferential, existential or transpersonal. The therapist facilitates the client to look at their issues and explore what is needed to understand themselves in order to make the significant changes necessary to improve their quality of life.
The therapists approach based on their informed use of skill will depend on differences between individual clients and their needs and different phases in psychotherapy.
The psychotherapeutic relationship is characterised by certain conditions which is that it is usually paid for according to some contractual agreement, this is referred to as the therapeutic alliance, it is the crucial and sometimes only required relationship for effective therapy.
There are three aspects to the working alliance which are required for any form of therapy to be successful, firstly goals must be agreed, then there must be an agreement on the necessary tasks, and there needs to be a personal bond between therapist and client which supports the frequently painful work of life changing psychotherapy.
It is a condition that the therapist is specifically trained to do this work, that the aim and goal of the work is to process and mirror psychological difficulties for the client and to support them to find ways to improve these difficulties. There are other conditions and significant factors for successful therapy but the above rate as most significant.
Styles of psychotherapeutic relationship
From an Integrative perspective there are five forms of Psychotherapeutic relationship.
- The working Alliance
- The transferential/counter-transferential relationship
- The reparative/developmentally-needed relationship
- The person-to-person relationship
- The transpersonal relationship
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Person Centered Therapy (Rogerian)
- Biodynamic Psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) / Transactional Analysis
- Jungian Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Process Oriented Psychology/Mindfulness
- Integration of other schools of thought including an analytical approach to conceptualizing the work
- Reiki and Healing energy work