PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELLING
Psychotherapy or counselling is a ‘talking therapy’ approach intended for a person to resolve their problems (such as emotional or relational) and in general to increase the quality of one’s life. In a session, a person opens up about their thoughts, feelings and lived experiences to the therapist and the therapist guides and helps the person to better understand their suffering through providing a supportive, objective, confidential and nonjudgmental environment.
This collaborative exploration allows a person to look deeper into one’s problems and worries. As a result they make sense of the causes and generate personal solutions. Psychotherapy or counselling can be focused on a specific problem and be a short-term work, or it can focus on deeper problems and be a long-term work directed towards higher self-awareness and personal growth. For short-time one might guess a period of 8-12 sessions, but generally one can’t generate a limit to achieve the wanted results, as the work might move towards previously unknown areas.
During this therapy process one might discover certain feelings and patterns which might lead to feelings of distress, pain or sadness. As we are not usually aware of the dynamics that create problems in our lives, discovering these dynamics might initially make us feel worse or anxious. This is normal and expected. Pain and anxiety will decrease as one talks about and faces them.
The main approach I use in therapy is the Existential approach. It is a collaborative exploration into the complex subjectivity that is ‘you’. Just like other therapeutic approaches, existential therapy helps people who are suffering and in crisis. Every now and then, we all come across circumstances that challenge our basic sense of security, identity or significance in life. Although these experiences can be painful and make us feel hopeless, they also provide us a great opportunity of growth through questioning our deeply held personal values in life and beliefs about how the world functions. By illuminating our human limitations and unique constraints (such as our physical attributes, the culture we are born into, the oppression we experience and/or the privileges we have based on our social identities etc) we can start to truly understand our distress, finding courage to choose and construct our own way of being that is both meaningful and fulfilling.
The Existential approach is against categorising our unique personal experiences, avoiding stigmatising labels. Instead Existentialism focuses on the paradoxical nature of humans, such as; on the one hand each person is unique in how they understand, react to and experience their lives, whereas on the other hand there is a universality to the ‘human experience’ in trying to make sense of one’s suffering shared by other humans. Dysfunctional behaviours or unhealthy symptoms are not pathologized, but understood as an attempt of coping with difficulties and an expression of one’s disconnection from themselves, their surroundings and from reality.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the norm for psychotherapy and counselling services was to be held face to face. As we are currently adapting to virtual alternatives of so many aspects in our lives, so does the delivery of good therapy services. Online therapy proves to be a very convenient and a wonderful alternative to face to face therapy.
I mainly use Zoom for online sessions, but Skype and Whatsapp are also viable options with encrypted softwares that offer confidentiality. As long as you can find a private setting with good internet connection, the quality of online session will be on par with face to face therapy.
Relationship & Intimacy Difficulties
Sexuality & Working with LGBTI+ Clients
Abuse (Emotional, Physical and Sexual) & Trauma
Living with HIV
Spiritual and Religious Issues
Meaning and Purpose