That’s something I get a lot from my patients. It’s a normal question considering conditions. You don’t feel ok in some or more parts of your life. You try to get it better by adjusting your mental image of the world. You go to therapist to make it ok. How long will it take?
Here is the beginning of a hard answer: It took you 23, 54, 33 years or whatever your age is to practice mental patterns. Those same patterns that cause you trouble are sadly those you are the biggest expert in. It will take some time to remove them.
The good news is, it won’t take several decades to change them. But it won’t happen overnight either.
Think of it as if you would be approaching your mental health in the same way as you would get fit. You would join the fitness but wouldn’t expect to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger (back in the days of course) or Jason Momoa after the first few weight lifts. Not to mention if you ever decided to practice for a marathon but had a sitting lifestyle up to that point, you’d quickly figure out there is much to be done, before you would be able to sweat it all the way.
Point is it is not impossible but change takes practice, effort and time. Influencing your mind to stop playing demotivational tricks on you it will take some commitment. But the good news is that once you get that ball rolling, gravity will kick in at one point. That is, things will start changing by themselves.
That said, you are probably still wondering how much time that means. It is kind of different for everybody. Some people get the grip after a single session, some take five. Most notice a significant difference after ten. Some wish to pursue things into depth and get it over within one swing. Which might mean a year of hard work that pays off.
But it is up to you, your goals and commitment you are ready to put into work.
There is a lot of assumptions going around about what psychotherapy is and especially, who is it for. People often think it’s connected to mental illness which they somehow associate with something out of a Flight over a cuckoo’s nest.
Psychotherapy is addressing individuals thinking processes when that individual has some sort of a problem. Some decide to visit a therapist only when they are heavily burned out or severely depressed. Others decide prevention is better than curing stuff when they’ ve been bad for too long and address the slight problems heads on. Some people are doing quite well in life but see the potential to achieve more, calm, or reach those goals they want to get themselves to, or just improve one area of let’s say visual self-esteem.
There are no good or bad reasons for psychotherapy. It’s all about getting your mind to work for you not the other way around, or worse being succumbed by your mind torturing you.
Sometimes things can be easier understood when we compare them to more physical roam. Imagine you have a slight case of caries. There is a good chance that in time it will cause you a severe toothache, and you will have to go to the dentist. But if you go to the dentist when you notice the tiny dark spot on your teeth or just do your regular checkups, you will most likely avoid severe procedures, pain, and rehabilitation that goes with them.
The psychological treatment works somewhat the same. The more you take care of it, the more you can enjoy it. The more you try to ignore it, the bigger the chances, something will evolve that will cause you pain and trigger the need for serious and long treatment.
So you’re here. You want to do the work. Change the unconstructive filters of your mind and get unstuck.
But still have a few questions.
How does it work right?
Pretty much like regular psychotherapy, just that everything is done online.
The first thing you want to do is send me the mail or contact me through a contact form.
I’ll get right back at you and we will set an appointment.
Appointment is confirmed after the payment gets through, unfortunately I cannot schedule anything before I make sure you’ll be there.
For the scheduled appointment you don’t need to have any notes ready. But if you do feel the need to bring some notes on your problem, feel free to do it.
Before the appointment I will send you the link via e-mail, for the call. You don’t need to install anything.
Before the scheduled appointment, make sure your device that you’ll use for the call, has enough battery to make it through a 50minute conversation. Or have a charger ready.
I highly recommend the use of the headphones with installed microphone (you usually get them with your phone). No fancy ones needed (although if you already have them, they won’t hurt), but the use of the headphones improves the quality of the sound. It allows you to talk with your normal voice. Without them, people usually feel the need to speak louder or closer to the microphone on their device, which often includes uncomfortable leanings towards and backward and makes everything unnecessarily awkward. It works without headphones as well, I’m just saying is better to use them.
Once you have your hardware all set, check the technicalities. It’s better to be ready logged in and all that 5 minutes before the appointment so you can make sure everything runs smoothly.
You should keep in mind you’re camped somewhere with a good internet connection and where is quiet and private enough so you can comfortably share your thoughts.
Once the time comes. You ring me (click the video icon) and we start talking.
I’m confined to high ethical internationally accredited psychotherapeutic standards. This means I won’t tape the conversation or share any of your information with anyone. What you say is up to you. You share what is ok with you and we go on from there.
Usually, I like to invite people to say a few words about themselves. To describe their situation and point out what bothers them.
Then I check how are your goals, desires and some less pleasant stuff if you’re dealing with any.
Then we focus on your unique position and find point for shifting the angle so you can solve whatever is giving you a hard time.
You are free to not answer whatever question makes you uncomfortable, ask whatever interests you and comment on what you desire.
Towards the end, we discuss your treatment wishes and make a plan or stop right then and there. It’s totally up to you.
Beginnings are tough. So let me help you with the initial contact.
After you decide you want to take charge of your life. Get unstuck and use the psychotherapy to help you declutter your mind and stop overthinking things, you have your first challenge ahead of you.
Write that e-mail.
Here is how you might go about it:
– Write a short description of your problem. Include what bothers you, what are the problems or what is the situation.
– No need to get into details. A few short sentences are fine. Although if you feel the need to elaborate, go for it.
– Include some basic information about you. Your age and some relevant info you think you should share (if you have problems finishing projects you might want to add whether you work in a startup or are a student).
– For scheduling it’s really important to share your location or at least time zone, so we can arrange the appointment at a normal waking hour (although if you have insomnia problems, write that down and we’ll figure something out).
Confidentiality is one of the strongest cornerstones of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is a method that only works through talking. You are encouraged to talk as honestly as you possibly can and without censoring your own words.
With such an approach, some truths, possibly secrets are of course spilled and it is necessary to protect them.
Whatever you say in psychotherapy is completely confidential. Meaning, all names, location information or any other data that could in any way endanger complete privacy of what is said in a psychotherapy session, are treated as top secret. The therapist won’t share any of that information to the third person.
A psychotherapist is bound to the highest confidentiality standards. Mine is bounded by my internationally certified accreditation with ECPP and their Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. Here is an excerpt from the code of ethics about confidentiality:
4. CONFIDENTIALITY AND NOTES
4.1. Psychoanalytic psychotherapists have a primary obligation to respect the confidentiality of information obtained from persons in the course of their work.
4.2. Revelation of any patient’s confidences without their written consent is a serious violation of professional ethics. If the psychoanalytic psychotherapist has to use a patient’s material for presentations, scientific papers, etc., the identity of the patient must be sufficiently disguised. The only exception is the case when psychoanalytic psychotherapists consider keeping confidentiality potentially dangerous for the patient, other people or the general public. Psychoanalytic psychotherapist should try to keep balance between confidentiality and public safety.
4.3. Patients should be informed about the confidentiality of their material and conditions when it can be broken.
4.4 Confidentiality is kept for an unlimited period. Psychoanalytic psychotherapists make provisions for maintaining confidentiality in the storage and disposal of records, and in the event of their own unavailability.
4.5. When working with minors or other persons who are unable to give their voluntary informed consent, psychoanalytic psychotherapists take special care to protect the best interests of these person’s and consult others involved appropriately.
So when you enroll in psychotherapy you don’t have to just count on high ethical standards of a therapist. Your trust has a leg to stand on through the organizations that oversee the work of a therapist and that accept any possible complaints when ethical breach becomes a question.