It’s natural to wonder about the practice of psychotherapy. You may even be asking, “does therapy work?” The FAQs below are some of the most common queries asked about psychotherapy, but you may also have your own. If you have additional questions about therapy, use our contact form. Someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
The decision to enter into therapy is a highly personal one. People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes a crisis or trauma has provoked intense and overwhelming feelings.
Many people want to enter into therapy for relationship problems, on-the-job stress, self-doubt, and other emotional problems. Some people feel a more general need to talk about the gulf between what they imagined their lives would be and the circumstances in which they actually find themselves. We all want to be heard and listened to, and often just talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive and non-judgemental person makes you feel better.
Only you can determine if it works or not. Most people who enter into therapy report feeling an overall sense of well being.
It’s important to recognize that therapy is not a fast or easy fix. It’s a process that can be full of surprises and there may even be setbacks. Sometimes, even if your issue seems straightforward, it can turn into something more complicated. It’s important to be patient and trust that things are progressing as they should be.
You should be able to tell within a few sessions if you and your psychotherapist are a good fit, and if you are benefiting from therapy. You won’t be a new person overnight, but you may find that in time your overall mood is improving, you feel more connected to family and friends, and less overwhelmed by the issues that were bothering you. You can also read about this in our Articles and News section.
Some people refer to psychotherapy as a “talking treatment” because it generally involves talking to a therapist one-on-one, as a couple, a family, or to a group of people with similar issues. Therapy can be time-consuming and challenging as you may feel uncomfortable with the emotions and thoughts that therapy is causing you to bring out. But, this is all part of the process. Psychotherapy helps to give you a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, and helps you find a solution. Psychotherapy helps you to understand yourself better, to develop skills for healthy relationships, and to be a much happier and satisfied person. However, remember that your therapist cannot do the work for you. In order for therapy to work, you must be a willing participant.
It can be confusing to know the difference between these titles. The suffix “-iatry” means “medical treatment,” and “-logy” means “science” or “theory.” So psychiatry is the medical treatment of the psyche, and psychology is the science of the psyche. A psychiatrist can prescribe drugs, and a psychologist cannot. A psychotherapist is not a medical doctor, nor a scientist and they do not “treat” patients. Instead, psychotherapists are trained to work specifically through talk therapy, which is proven through years of practice to help people live open, honest and satisfying lives.
Yes. Psychotherapy can sometimes be confused with counseling therapy, and often the words” psychotherapy” and “counseling” are used interchangeably, but as a course of treatment, they are different.
In general, counseling is a more directive approach, which means a counselor will often give advice to help you solve a problem or deal with a personal issue.
Psychotherapy (also known simply as therapy) on the other hand, is working with a therapist to talk through your issues so that you come to a point where you are better able to make your own decisions.
In its essence, the therapeutic conversation is very different from the one you would have with a friend. Most importantly, this is all about you.
This offers a safe place to drop into your most personal inner world without having to fear that you’ll be thought “crazy”, and without concern for a friend’s fragility or judgment. In the therapeutic setting, all thoughts and feelings can be explored; your therapist is professionally trained and bound by confidentiality.
The therapeutic process is different for everyone. Its direction and duration will vary, depending on the individual and his or her goals and intentions.
Providing safety and confidentiality, the process of psychotherapy involves self-reflection, recollection and the careful accessing of deeper feelings and motivations. Typically, a therapist and client will discuss frequency and length of a therapy based on your needs. It is important to allow the process to evolve in whatever way works for you and fulfills your particular requirements.
Remember that personal growth can be difficult. To evaluate your progress, ask yourself:
- Is my life changing for the better – at work, at home, with my friends?
- Am I meeting the goals I set with my psychotherapist?
- Do I feel like I understand myself better?
- Am I more confident?
- Are my relationships with others improving?
The word ‘unconscious’ refers to those aspects of ourselves of which we are not yet aware; much of what motivates our simplest and even our most complex choices can be obscured, unnoticed and unacknowledged.
The word “subconscious” means a kind of awareness that is just outside conscious reach. The words ‘unconscious’ and ‘subconscious’ are often used interchangeably.
About Toronto Psychotherapists
All therapists on the Toronto Psychotherapists site will meet the rigorous membership standards of the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists. In addition, many therapists have training in specific treatment approaches. Our therapists are committed to professional development and continuing education.
The Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists has been the regulatory body for the practice of psychotherapy in Ontario since 2015. All therapists on the Toronto Psychotherapists site meet or exceed the rigorous requirements as set out by the College. For detailed information, you may go to http://www.crpo.ca/
Yes. This is a fundamental and crucial tenet of the psychotherapy code of conduct. What is discussed in therapy remains confidential. All members of Toronto Psychotherapists practice psychotherapy ethically and in accordance with strict professional standards.
You can definitely refer her or him to our website where they can meet all our psychotherapists in Toronto. However, it is advisable that he or she contact a different therapist from the one you see.
Each therapist’s profile page has contact information such as an email address. Not all therapists provide a phone number, but after you initiate conversation through email, you may be given a phone number to contact your therapist of choice. Please contact the therapist you are interested in to arrange a time for an initial consultation at the therapist’s office.
Many psychotherapists in Toronto offer a free initial consultation. You will find the profiles of our Toronto psychotherapists here.
The connection you have with your psychotherapist is extremely important. It can make all the difference in your treatment. Ask yourself:
- Does my therapist genuinely care about me and my problems?
- Do I feel like my psychotherapist understands me?
- Does my therapist accept me for who I am?
- Am I comfortable sharing personal information with this psychotherapist?
- Do I feel that I can be open and honest with him or her?
- Is my therapist a good listener. Does he or she listen without criticism or judgment?