What You Should Know About Psychological Therapy
Psychological therapy is an intensive process of change by which a person, a couple, a group, or a family can modify one or more behaviors with the objective to feel or function better.
The change may be to bring about the onset of necessary behaviors, or to increase or diminish the frequency with which a behavior or a thought occurs.
The specialist who is generally best trained to practice psychotherapy is the clinical psychologist.
In behavioral psychological psychotherapy, all possible human behaviors, including thoughts, may be the object of change. Any situation in life which is troublesome or which impedes the full functioning of the human being constitutes something for which it is worthwhile to consult the psychologist.
It is not necessary to wait until the problem turns into something major to consult the specialist. In fact, it is logical to consult when what worries you is only a concern, and not to wait until the problem becomes a psychopathological entity.
All of the problems that usually have an onset in infancy, such as bed-wetting, hyperactivity, attention disorders, tics, behavioral problems, low academic achievement, problems in socialization or self-esteem, negativisms and disobediences, problems with feeding, mannerisms, and many more, deserve psychological treatment to prevent future problems.
In similar fashion, the problems of adult life such as those that are related to the couple, the sexual problems, the infidelities, separations, divorces and their aftermath, sickness and terminal illness, death, post-traumatic crises, vocational guidance, difficulties in studying, at work or in interpersonal relationships, as well as stress, anxiety, anguish, obsessions and compulsions, fears and phobias, and the use of some substances, also require the early intervention of the clinical psychologist so that you may live fully.
The first session of treatment includes sufficient time for you to fully explain to the specialist the nature of your problem or your worries. Based on this, you will be asked questions to clarify concepts, and to determine the magnitude of the problem.
Following this exploration, the clinical psychologist most likely will give you, if possible, a psychological explanation of what is occurring, and will also describe to you the type of therapy recommended for this problem.
The therapeutic process generally includes an evaluation with psychological tests, and the tallying of the frequency with which certain events or behaviors occur in your natural environment, which you have to do right at the time they occur.
The recordings you have to make are very important, as with them information is obtained which allows to control your therapeutic process, and the most adequate procedures are determined to achieve the changes you require. You must bring these recordings to all your appointments.
Once the objectives of treatment are achieved, it is better not to immediately terminate the sessions, but to follow a process by which appointments are gradually spaced. This method is preferable, because it helps guarantee that the changes achieved are maintained throughout time.
Once treatment is finished, it is convenient to have some follow-up visits every few months, to ensure that the achieved objectives are maintained at an acceptable level.
Feel free to ask all the questions that you may wish at any time. For us it is very important that you fully understand, and that you participate actively in all of your treatment process. Likewise, in the event of an emergency, contact us at any time as soon as possible.
© 2005 Angel Enrique Pacheco, Ph.D., C.Psych. All Rights Reserved.
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