Sometimes it can feel like we are overwhelmed with various life difficulties and that we have no strength to deal with them effectively. In such situations, people often feel discouraged or anxious.
Psychologist can help you build up your strengths and skills to help you overcome your difficulties. In addition, struggling with problems itself can exhaust our resources, and even though we know what to do and how to do it, we want and need support on that journey from a trustworthy person who is impartial, who listens to us, hears us, understands us and can provide support.
Some people feel and function worse for no apparent reason. And in such cases also, a psychologist can be of use in terms of encouraging awareness and defining potential difficulties, setting up and achieving personal goals in order to improve the quality of life.
The duration of an individual session is 60 minutes, while group sessions last 90 minutes.
The total duration of counseling or psychotherapy depends on the type and duration of a difficulty or difficulties, past experiences, existing skills in dealing with difficulties, current life circumstances, support of the people that surround us, as well as the goals a person sets in cooperation with the psychologist. Depending on the type of difficulty and the set goal, at the beginning of the treatment, after the initial assessment, the number of sessions can be defined. As soon as after the first few sessions, people state to feel the reduced intensity or frequency of difficulties, but for the long-term sustainable positive effects, more intensive and long-term work is needed.
Counseling on less complex difficulties, without additional complications, lasts much shorter than psychotherapy in case of the more complex, longer-lasting difficulties with additional complications. The number of sessions may range from 5 to 20 plus sessions, not counting an in-depth assessment consisting of interviews and brief psychological assessments.
The sessions are usually conducted applying once-a-week dynamic, according to a predetermined appointment schedule, and they are getting less frequent and reduced at the end of the treatment, to one session in two or three weeks.
High efficacy has been demonstrated in treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder and depressive and anxiety disorders in children. In the Recommendations for Treatment of Different Psychopathological Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association suggests the use of cognitive-behavioral techniques in 80% of different disorders, which is the most commonly recommended psychotherapeutic approach.
Gestalt's approach has been proven to be applicable in dealing with the life crises and in the crisis interventions following trauma and loss, anxiety and depressive disorders, personality disorders, alcohol and drug addiction, as well as in dealing with psychosomatic disorders. The Gestalt Therapy is particularly effective in dealing with people who are inhibited, rigid, and prone to intellectualization, and with a lot of „inner limitations and compulsions". The Gestalt Therapy is used in working with individuals and groups, family and partner therapy and working with children and adolescents.
The basic premise of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is that all behaviors are learned. Appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, as well as patterns of thought, are learned by the same principles of learning. Accordingly, it is assumed that changing the way of thinking that creates difficulties for us can achieve the desired changes in behavior, thinking and experiencing. The change is therefore achieved through new experiences, learning and adopting new skills, and detecting mistakes in the way we are perceiving or responding to events. In this way, a person develops a sense of control and expands knowledge about different solutions and possibilities to handle difficulties or challenges.
The main assumption of the Gestalt therapy is that every person is born with a natural mechanism for regulating needs and that growing up, because we do not live in a perfect world, this cycle is disturbed and the mechanisms are built that can create difficulties for us later on. The goal of the Gestalt Therapy is to become aware of the way we regulate our needs, the mechanisms that harm us, and to explore new ways of reacting and having contacts with the environment that help us live more in line with our needs. This can be achieved through creating a close relationship built on complete trust between the client and the therapist, where a person is given an opportunity to have a different experience in relation to the one that has created difficulties. The Gestalt approach is highly oriented to emotions and bodily sensations and it is applying creative experiments as the main technique for getting to know oneself and exploring new possibilities of experiencing and behaving.