FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY AND WHAT IS THE DURATION?
Psychotherapy is a journey that involves two or more individuals and its final destination is change. Through this journey individuals explore and recognize deeper aspects of themselves, challenge themselves, replace non-functional behavior patterns, create healthy and long-lasting interpersonal relationships, resolve problems and set short-term and / or long-term goals for the future. This process has a different meaning for every individual, therefore the duration of psychotherapy is determined by the presenting problem, an individual’s expectations from psychotherapy and his/her willingness to change. For some people the duration is short-term and for some people the duration is long-term.
WHEN AND WHY SHOULD I SEEK PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy is a beneficial but difficult process that requires the recognition of one’s own difficulties and his/her willingness to change, therefore seeking for psychotherapy services is a personal decision. Usually, individuals refer to a psychologist when they feel that their efforts to manage their difficulties have had no desired effect and have reached a dead end. Some of the reasons that can lead an individual to seek psychotherapy are: the desire for change, the inability to cope with particular incidents, anxiety, anger, phobias, psychological disorders, mourning, interpersonal relationships, self-confidence, etc.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL AND A PSYCHOLOGIST?
The therapeutic relationship that develops between an individual and a psychologist is particularly important for the progress of psychotherapy. It is a genuine human relationship through which individuals are given the opportunity to gain personal insight, observe the effect they have on their interpersonal relationships and gain a more realistic view of themselves and of the people around them. The experience of a therapeutic relationship helps individuals learn how to develop more meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
It is often observed that individuals expect to be provided with an immediate solution for their difficulties. However, the main goal of the psychotherapeutic process is to develop skills that will help them manage current and future difficulties without the assistance of a psychologist. The role of a psychologist is to objectively listen, to understand, to support, to make connections and questions based on his / her professional training that will assist individuals to make the best decisions for their lives – Besides, this is what makes the psychotherapeutic relationship unique and different from our everyday life relationships.
HOW CONFIDENTIAL IS THE INFORMATION I SHARE WITH THE PSYCHOLOGIST?
Ensuring confidentiality is a fundamental basis for the development of a therapeutic relationship between an individual and the psychologist. The psychologist has a primary obligation to protect confidential information that is disclosed during psychotherapy sessions and cannot share any information without a written consent from the individual who is in therapy. However, there are cases where the psychologist is obligated by the law and ethics to break confidentiality without the individual’s permission. Specifically, the psychologist is obligated to break confidentiality when the individual is considered to be an immediate danger for himself/herself or/and for other people. The psychologist is also obligated to break confidentiality in cases of abuse (physical, sexual) and of neglect towards minors and individuals who are unable to protect themselves. Finally, confidentiality is not ensured when the psychologist is called to testify in court.
WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY AND DURATION OF THE SESSIONS?
Sessions are usually scheduled once a week and the duration of each session is 50 minutes. In cases of crisis intervention sessions can be scheduled more frequently. Parent counselling meetings are scheduled based on the child’s therapy and on parent’s needs. If you wish to cancel or reschedule a session I would appreciate it if you inform me 24 hours in advance.
WHAT IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH MY THERAPY?
Every psychologist has a different scientific training and uses different methods in his/her sessions with individuals. We must not forget however, that psychologists have their own personalities, beliefs and individualities. As in our everyday life, there are individuals we can collaborate with and there are individuals we cannot collaborate with. It is important that we find a psychologist that we feel able to trust and work with. You have every right to express any doubt or dissatisfaction regarding your therapy and you have no obligation to continue therapy if you feel that it is no longer necessary. It would be useful to discuss it with your psychologist first, but the final decision can only be taken by you.
DO PSYCHOLOGISTS PRESCRIBE MEDICATIONS?
Psychologists do not prescribe medication. Medication can only be prescribed by psychiatrists. Psychologists can refer individuals to a psychiatrist if they believe that medication is necessary. However, the psychologist will not proceed to the referral before discussing it with the client.