The word “psyche” refers to the forces in an individual that influence thought, behaviour and personality. Borrowed from the ancient Greek, psukhe, it refers to the concept of self, encompassing modern ideas of soul, self, and mind. The word therapy is also borrowed from the ancient Greek therapeuein to attend, assist and hold in attention. So, psychotherapy is a place where both you and your therapist can together attend, assist, and hold in attention your body, mind and soul, through examining your thoughts, behaviour, and personality.
Some people refer to psychotherapy as “talking treatment” because it is generally based on an individual talking to a therapist. However, psychotherapy is much more than talking about your problems. While family or friends can help you feel better or even provide good advice for change, this is not psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is a professional relationship between a therapist and a client. Therapists are trained to understand what you say and how you say it. They pay close attention to body language, voice tone and content to fully understand what you are trying to say. You can tell therapists things without having to worry about your information being told to others or in any way affecting your job, family or relationships. It has been said that Psychotherapy is the most intimate relationship you’ll ever have with another human being.
How Psychotherapy Works
The way in which the therapists will work with you will depend in part on what you seek from psychotherapy, how you understand your difficulties, abilities and available support, and any time-constraints you have. Our therapist here at Dr. Susan Jamieson Integrative Medical Practice, Maggy Dalmat, believes that the relationship between the therapist and the client should be a collaborative one, in which both the therapist and client work together to come to an agreement on the goals and focus of therapy.
The underpinning principle is that psychotherapy is no magic cure; rather, the capacity for cure lies within each person. Over time, clients develop a sense of mastery over their situations, feelings, thoughts and behaviours. How long any treatment lasts depends on a number of factors; it may be as short as a few sessions or continue for a few years. The therapist generally provides sessions once or twice a week depending on clients need and preference. Sessions take place at the same place and time each week and last 50 minutes.
Health Psychology is a specialty which includes pre-med training and integrates closely with medical care. Its focus is on:
- Biopsychosocial Model
- Health risk management
- Preventive measures
- Modifying health benefits, increasing internal control or self efficiency
- Improved communication between healthcare practitioners and patients
- Psychological contributors to acute and chronic illness, promote self-management and coping
A health psychologist can help you understand and manage your illness, reduce symptoms which have mental-emotional components, and/or improve your overall health through both physical and psychological methods, for optimal wellness.
Brief Cognitive Therapy
This approach is very concrete and deals with the current problems in people’s lives in order to find new solutions together. At first, defining the problem as precisely as possible using images, words without ambiguity, why, and how is poses a problem in the daily life of the person. Then, targeting an objective, identifying the criteria by which the person will know that he/she feels better, that change is happening and that there will be no more need for consultation.
The great strength of this way of working is to clarify the exact problem for the person and the changes which he/she would like to obtain; all of this is done in a “transparent collaboration” with the therapist, who is not all powerful.
This collaboration gives confidence to the person who feels supported in their daily life and feels quickly “in a context of change where he/she takes their life in their own hands in an active way”, which is very stimulating and gratifying.
How Does It Work?
The work follows three main axes simultaneously:
1) Work on the thoughts and beliefs (vision of the world, of oneself, life, couple) and their influence on the problem.
2) Prescribed tasks which will help the person confront their fears and take action.
3) Hypnosis which is a fantastic tool and which puts the person in contact with their resources and helps develop new ideas and solutions.
Having learned and treated people with various conditions before, Maëlle can comprehend an individual’s particular problems. She is familiar with the symptoms of various psychiatric illnesses and the difficulty of daily living. She knows what questions to ask and might pose questions that you have never heard before. There is nothing sophisticated about this; indeed, library shelves overflow with books on the subject of Psychology.What makes it meaningful is that Maëlle did not just glean these principles from a book; she experienced them first hand through her work with clients here in Hong Kong.
Clinical Studies and experience have found that Psychotherapy can help with a variety of different issues, such as:
- Adjustment Difficulties
- Immigration and Acculturation Issues
- Crisis Management
- Relationship Difficulties
- Identity Issues
- Culturally Specific Issues
- Chronic Illnesses
- Psychotic Illnesses
- Substance Abuse
- Eating Disorders
- Loss and Grief