Counselling, psychotherapy and coaching sessions are offered in many ways… working with individuals, couples or groups. Counselling can help.
There are all kinds of reasons for deciding to consult a third party about personal issues, such as having difficulties in relationships or issues that come up at work between colleagues. People of all ages can encounter difficulties or want some area in their lives improved or sometimes repaired.
What approach suits you best :
This may depend on what you want help with:
- distressing events such as death of a relative, loved one or friend
- illness or physical or mental disability in a someone near to you
- life transitions… teenagers, middle age…
- personality difficulties
- marriage breakdown or embarking on a new partnership
- Sometimes you want to do things better
- career decision making
- self-esteem improvement
- confidence building
- goal making and achieving (sport, career, the arts…)
- or you may just have an idea that there something not quite right, something about your life that you can do better.
I hope you can find some interesting and helpful resources on these pages. There are also many other places to seek help… make Contact if you would like different ir more information. Meanwhile, here are a few descriptions of people you might see in your travels toward finding help.
Types of practitioners
Counsellors are frequently the first port of call for people seeking relief from personal problems. Some people claim that the Counsellor holds the most important position in the helping field because if they see people in the early stages they often can prevent the issue becoming long-term, deep-seated or serious.
Prevention is better than cure
Counsellors — will probably view your situation as being normal even if you are finding things are a little uncomfortable. Counsellors will help you seek some way of making changes in your life patterns or to suit your life values. Counsellors will probably tend to not diagnose, label or “treat you as a patient”, nor will they see your situation as being a psychiatric illness or psychological disorder.
Counsellors will probably help you by trying to understanding your issues, suggesting ways for you to understand your issues and give you the choice of making changes where you, or after collaboration, both of you see fit. Sometimes counsellors act as low-key coaches.
Psychotherapists, on the other hand, may assess your situation from an emotional perspective. They will identify issues and help you understand them. They will encourage you by strengthening your abilities and identify resources you can use while empowering and helping you realise your potentialities.
Psychotherapy will help you change your behaviour or attitudes (if that is what you want) and enable you to better get on with your life. Psychotherapists believe that the client is the central part in the relationship and will generally seek a collaborative relationship with you in order to affect any changes you desire.
PACFA and CAPA
What PACFA & CAPA mean to you?
These associations provide a minimum standard of training and supervision required for counsellors and psychotherapists to be accredited by such organisations. CAPA members are required to:
update their training annually with a minimum of 20 hours professional development
undergo supervision with a qualified supervisor for a minimum of 10 hours per year
be insured appropriately for the kind of counselling/psychotherapy/therapy they are practising
PACFA accreditation determines that your counsellor or psychotherapist is trained in the art and craft of counselling and/or psychotherapy. This does not mean they are good, it simply means that they have undergone minimum training requirements.
Both these associations provide a minimum standard of training and supervision required for counsellors and psychotherapists to be accredited by such organisations. PACFA determines that your counsellor or psychotherapist is trained at an institution/college/university that is approved by PACFA as providing minimum training requirements.
Membership by a counsellor or therapist of an association does not mean they are good, it simply means that they have undergone minimum training requirements and subscribe (voluntarily) to a memorandum of minimum training requirements, supervision and other codes of ethics each association set.
Registered psychologists (NSW) have usually studied at a university for over four years with a further two years supervised practical experience in a clinical setting. It is this last two years that give psychology students the hands-on training so necessary for people working with the personal issues of other people.
Psychologists work in much the same way as counsellors and psychotherapists… sometimes using the question: “How do people work, react, respond…” whcih will lead to “How do you work, respond, etc….”
Psychiatrists (who are trained doctors) are usually trained in research methods and are effective diagnosticians in the mental health field. They are doctors who have had additional training in psychiatry.
The kind of treatment offered by doctors and psychiatrists will usually include medication. These are the only mental health practitioners who can prescribe drugs. Often drugs are their only form of treatment. A good guide to knowing good psychiatrist is to consult one who will treat you in a psychotherapeutic manner.
If your psychiatrist simply sees you for an update in order to monitor ;medication I would question the therapeutic model. The mind is a sensitive organ, and to JUST medicate with drugs (often without knowledge of long term effects) can seriously compromise your future reasoning and effective living.
Other ways of finding help other than through individually consulting a therapist include:
- group therapy
- marriage and couple therapy
- family therapy
- encounter groups
- short courses for building esteem or to help in relationships
Ask around and ask your therapist for alternative ways you may get help
If you are not getting satisfaction from your current therapy or if you are unhappy with your current therapist the best thing to do is discuss this with your therapist. If your therapist is concerned primarily with your well being he or she will discuss these issues openly. When your therapist is happy to refer you to someone else you can be sure your welfare is their prime concern.