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What does the process of therapy look like for a psychologist?

What does the process of therapy look like?

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Daniel’s Answer

Hello there!

The process of therapy for a psychologist typically involves several stages and follows a structured framework. Here's a general overview of the therapy process:

Initial contact and assessment: The first step is making initial contact with a psychologist to schedule an appointment. During the initial session, the psychologist will conduct an assessment to gather information about your background, current concerns, and goals for therapy. This assessment helps the psychologist understand your unique needs and tailor the treatment accordingly.

Goal setting and treatment planning: Based on the assessment, the psychologist and client collaboratively establish therapy goals. These goals serve as a roadmap for the therapeutic process. The psychologist will also develop a treatment plan outlining the specific strategies, techniques, and interventions that will be used to address your concerns.

Regular therapy sessions: Therapy typically consists of regular sessions that occur weekly, biweekly, or as determined by the treatment plan. In these sessions, you engage in conversations with the psychologist, who provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Therapeutic techniques and interventions: Psychologists utilize various therapeutic techniques and interventions depending on the client's needs and the theoretical approach they follow. These may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, humanistic therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and more. The psychologist may help you challenge negative thoughts, develop coping skills, explore underlying emotions, modify behaviors, or enhance self-awareness.

Homework and skill-building: Outside of therapy sessions, the psychologist may assign homework or recommend exercises to practice skills learned in therapy. These assignments help reinforce learning, promote self-reflection, and encourage the application of therapeutic strategies in daily life.

Progress monitoring and feedback: Throughout therapy, the psychologist regularly assesses your progress towards the therapy goals. They provide feedback, guidance, and support, and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. Progress monitoring helps both you and the psychologist track improvements and make informed decisions about the continuation or modification of therapy.

Closure and termination: As therapy progresses and goals are met, the psychologist and client collaboratively work towards closure. The termination phase involves reviewing the progress made, summarizing key insights, and discussing strategies for maintaining gains or managing future challenges. Closure allows for a smooth transition out of therapy and promotes a sense of accomplishment and growth.

It's important to note that the therapy process can vary depending on the individual, their specific needs, and the therapeutic approach used by the psychologist. Each person's therapeutic journey is unique, and the psychologist's role is to provide professional guidance, support, and expertise throughout the process.
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Gena’s Answer

Hi Laneishka,

Your question really made me think hard about how to describe the therapist’s experience. Here’s the best I could do:
Therapy is a dynamic, fluid, alive, scientific and creative process that looks and feels different with every client. Sometimes there will be a celebration of progress. Sometimes there is deep sadness. Sometimes there is a light moment and joke shared. Sometimes there is frustration. Sometimes the therapist is full of doubt. Sometimes therapy has an easy and natural flow. Sometimes therapists are very worried about their client. Often all of these and more happen in the one session.

Competent therapists tune in to their client and endeavour to remain tuned in with a laser-like focus for the duration of the session. Therapist’s use their deep attunement to guide any intervention they think might be of assistance. Theory and interventions naturally come from tuning in to the client, not the other way around (ie starting with a theory and fitting this over the top of the client).

Good therapy is a conversation and a collaboration: the client and therapist are a team with the shared aim and sole focus of the wellbeing of the client.

I found it surprisingly hard to articulate what therapy is like for the therapist but I enjoyed reflecting on your question so thank you for asking and challenging me to think like this.

Gena
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