Therapy is for anyone. It be of great support in times of crisis or change. In therapy, a safe space is provided for you to explore whatever is causing difficulty in your life.
Talking to your Therapist about these issues can help to to get a clearer understanding of them, their causes, and their solutions.
Many clients may feel that while they have been seriously affected by an issue, it does not come under any of the below headings. A person may feel unhappy or overwhelmed in ways that affect everyday life, without having experienced trauma or abuse. Anyone experiencing distress can find relief with the support of a Therapist.
Spending some time in Therapy provides you with the opportunity to explore, discover and clarify resources for living with greater well-being.
Therapists may use specific approaches or frameworks in their work or a combination of approaches (for example Person-Centred Therapy, Psychoanalysis or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), but all have in common the ultimate aim of alleviating emotional distress.
The most important factor in choosing a Therapist is that you feel you can build a comfortable, open and respectful working relationship with him or her. It is also important that your Therapist is accredited with a professional body such as the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP).
Therapy is sometimes recommended by a GP, who may also prescribe medication (such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication), and clients then continue to take their prescribed medication during their time in Therapy.
A Therapist is not a medical doctor, and therefore does not prescribe medication, although he or she may help with aspects of general health such as nutrition and exercise.
A Psychiatrist, a medical doctor specialising in mental health, may also refer someone for Counselling.
A Psychologist is someone who has studied the mind and human behaviour. Some Psychologists have trained specifically in Counselling Psychology, and therefore are also Counsellors/Psychotherapists, but are not medical doctors and thus do not prescribe medication.
Counselling tends to deal more with immediate issues that may have arisen relatively recently, such as bereavement or relationship breakdown. Psychotherapy tends to deal with deeper, longer-term issues that may be rooted in the past but affect the present, such as trauma or serious mistreatment. Counselling and Psychotherapy are terms that overlap heavily and are often used interchangeably. The single term Therapy is also used for both approaches. Both Counselling and Psychotherapy incorporate attention, respect and confidentiality.