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But What Type of Therapy?

If you have been thinking of counselling, therapy or psychotherapy, what type do you choose? This is an important question and one to ask yourself. It will really help narrow down your search.


Some of us look for practical solutions to what we are wanting to seek help with. We might be unable to sleep, switch off from the day, or may need help with problem solving an issue at work. We could be ‘stuck’ with a certain way of thinking. The search for practical solutions may suggest that a therapist specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), it’s a method that considers our thinking and how we behave with the idea that we can change our behaviour once we become aware of how we think. We can learn to replace unhelpful irrational thoughts with helpful rational thoughts.


A good example could be spiders in the UK. Fear of spiders is quite common however if the fear becomes irrational if can govern our life; “Don’t ask me to go into the shed, there will be spiders”, you get sweaty hands and the lawn doesn’t get a trim. What is the irrational though behind the fear? That’s for you to answer! The fact is that in the UK spiders are pretty harmless and we can think about this and use if as the ‘key’ to going into the shed. This doesn’t make it easy straight away but you can start taking small steps towards the lawn mover.


CBT is one of the models of therapy used by the NHS in their mental well-being services and the results stand up really well. It is often a time limited model of therapy delivered in a set number of sessions with homework. Within the NHS this is often in group sessions. CBT doesn’t always allow for a more individual, soul searching answer to living with a fear of spiders. Private practice counsellors offer a more individually tailored approach to CBT. Very Well Mind has an easy to understand article of CBT which can be found at https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-behavior-therapy-2795747


Others seeking therapy may be looking for a more holistic approach in meeting their needs. They may be looking for a bit more ‘soul searching’, what does this fear of spiders come from? What’s it like to sit here, think and be fearful of spiders? Maybe a Humanistic Approach could be what you are looking for? This can be a more meandering approach because a Humanistic Counsellor will let you guide your exploration as to your fear of spiders.


The Humanistic Counsellor takes a more mind, body and soul approach. Back to the spider in the shed. They may invite you to talk about your fears about going into the shed, how does that feel in your body, what thoughts are going through your head. What emotions does this combination stir up in you. This has the potential to be a upsetting but a good therapist will gently guide you through your process. By being mindful of what is happening to us when we stand outside the shed with a racing heart we can start to find our own way of accepting that which can lead to change. By sitting with those emotions we can allow the fear to lessen or pass us by.


Or we can challenge them.


Your counsellor will allow you to find your own solution or way of being with your fear. It is neither irrational or rational - the fear just is. Through that exploration we can often come up with how to work with the fear. It could be; take a big breath, count to 10 and go in (and that’s ok) or it could be speaking out and saying ‘I’m scared of spiders, can you get the lawnmower out for me?’ (that’s ok too), it could be talking to the spider in your mind or allowed and telling it or yourself something ‘ha! I am not scared of you’ or ‘I’m coming in don’t jump on me….’ or something else altogether. You can travel back in time a bit and find the time when spiders where scary, such as a teasing family member or a nature program or a film that filled you with horror (Indianna Jones and Raiders of The Lost Ark). This can help us put that fear into perspective, giving us the opportunity to move on; ‘that film really scared me when I was 8 but I am an adult now and I don’t have to be scared.’


The Humanistic Counsellor works with the fundamental belief that we all have our own answers and internal resources if we are given the space to find them in our own time. This means that there is no rush to achieve results and therapy will last as long as you find benefit. For a user friendly explanation feel free to visit https://www.verywellmind.com/humanistic-therapy-definition-types-techniques-and-efficacy-5203657


There are many others types of therapy and these as a starting point. Both types of counselling are beneficial despite have different approaches. It’s really about what you want from your therapy and that can be a big question in itself.


And once again I accept total responsibility of all typo’s - they will be there.









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