- What is psychotherapy?
- What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
- How long does a therapy session last?
- What is a common frequency for the therapy sessions?
- How long will the therapy last?
- Will the therapy be confidential?
Psychotherapy is a treatment in which both the psychologist and the client participate. The objective of psychotherapy is to improve the quality of life of the client, by teaching a change in behavior, attitudes, thoughts or emotions. There are various forms of psychotherapy. I am trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of short-term therapy (3-6 months average), in which an active attitude of the client and psychologist is expected. It is a very effective form of therapy and suitable for both psychological problems and some physical problems (such as irritable bowel syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome).
Psychotherapy is not only suitable for the treatment of mental disorders. It is as useful for situations in which a person temporarily feels out of balance or is experiencing a problem for which he is not able to find a solution. Talking with a psychologist serves to get an unbiased opinion and to have a listening ear. Personally, I would recommend an annual psychological checkup, in which the client and psychologist work together as a team to have better psychological health as a result.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist studies and treats biological processes related to mental health whereas a psychologist studies and treats psychological processes (thoughts, emotions and behaviors) related to mental health. A psychiatrist is a doctor and therefore can prescribe medication. Psychiatrists usually don’t treat clients with psychotherapy but with medicine whereas a psychologist always treats clients with psychotherapy. Both treatments are equally effective for most problems. Still going to a psychologist has some extra benefits. The benefits of going to a psychologist are that the effects of psychotherapy are more durable than the effects of treatment which medication, since the effects of the medication disappear when you stop taking them. Also psychotherapy will teach you to be “your own therapist ” and allows you to be able to help yourself in future occasions. If the occasion requires it I will work together with a psychiatrist in the treatment of your problem.
How long does a therapy session last?
The first 2 to 4 sessions are used for the evaluation of the problem and last around 60 to 75 minutes. A treatment session lasts around 60 minutes of which 50 minutes are dedicated to the psychological intervention and 10 minutes are used to round up the session (to summarize, to answer questions, and to schedule a new appointment).
Coaching processes usually take between 5 to 15 sessions. In a coaching process, client and psychologist focus on a specific problem and do not treat possible underlying problems. This allows a coaching process to proceed faster. Some clients choose to proceed with psychotherapy after completing a coaching process, as they also want to work on the underlying problems they experience.
Will the therapy be confidential?
To have your private practice as a psychologist in Catalonia you need to be a member of the “Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Catalunya”. Confidentiality is a requirement that is imposed by the membership and a fundamental criteria for a psychologist. Nothing you will say in therapy will be shared with others unless you might be in danger of hurting yourself or others.
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