Relationship Counselling | What Happens In A Session?
As human beings, the relationships we form with other people play an important role in upbringing our mental and emotional wellbeing. From the time we are born, till the time we depart from this world, we develop relationships with different people. Healthy relationship; such as friendships, marital relationships, sexual relationships, as well as familial relationships make for a healthier and happier overall life, however, negative or unhealthy relationships can have a devastating effect on one’s emotional and social wellbeing. But, it is a reality that even the best relationships (such as a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship, husband and wife relationship, parent and child relationship) go through highs and lows. Relationship counselling is a type of talk therapy that allows both parties involved in a relationship to sit in a safe and private environment and openly talk about their problems, issues, and feelings. Let us quickly try to understand what the term relationship counselling means and what happens in a session.
Relationship counseling is a type of psychotherapy offered by an experienced counselor, psychologist or a therapist primarily aimed at helping both parties involved in a relationship resolve problems or issues that may be causing distress between them. Listed below are some of the common conflicts or issues that push individuals or families to seek relationship counseling.
- coping with major life changes
- love affairs
- sexual relationships
- financial hardships
- balancing work and home
- health issues
- lack of communication
- child abuse
- sexual abuse
Whether you are dating, married, or in a sexual relationship, relationship counseling can help you deal with relationship difficulties and connect with each other more deeply and emotionally.
What Happens In a Session?
If you think your relationship is on the rocks, relationship counselling can provide you a safe and secure environment to sort things out in the presence of an objective third party (counselor).
Your first appointment with a relationship counselor will involve you giving answers to a few simple questions about your personal life and the issue at hand. Usually, both parties are seen and heard together in the first appointment, but sometimes that counselor may ask to meet each person individually in order to get a better perspective and understanding of the situation. After carefully listening to both parties and fully understanding the case, the counselor may give them his/her personal advice or a plan on how to move forward. Your relationship counselor can only guide you in the right direction, but in the end, it is you who has to make the decision.
The most important thing about relationship counseling is that the information you share with your counselor stays confidential and is not shared with anyone else without your permission.
Can Psychology Help With Social Anxiety?
Although it is quite common for some people to feel nervous in certain social situations such as when giving a presentation, going on a first date, giving a job interview, or taking part in a competition. This social anxiety becomes a medical condition called ‘social anxiety disorder’ when the intensity and frequency of the symptoms (fear, nervousness, embarrassment) become excessive to the point that it starts to interfere with work, school, and other social activities. Fortunately, psychology for social anxiety, medications, and therapy has been shown effective in managing the symptoms as well as treating the disorder.
What Is It (SAD)?
Social anxiety disorder, sometimes also referred to as ‘social phobia’, is a common type of anxiety disorder characterized by excessive emotional discomfort, worry, or fear about social situations. People who suffer from SAD often display a persistent concern or fear about being judged or perceived negatively by others when in a social situation. At times, performing simple tasks in public such as filling in a form or eating in a public place may become highly stressful for someone suffering from SAD.
Psychology for Social Anxiety
Over the years, psychology for social anxiety has proven to be one of the more popular methods for treating SAD. Psychologists use a wide variety of techniques to help the patient successfully overcome and cope with the symptoms associated with SAD. Some of the most common forms for therapies used by the psychologist today are:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT)
- Interpersonal Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Family Therapy
The basic goal of all these psychological therapies is to help the person suffering from SAD identify and transform negative thinking and behavioral patterns associated with this disorder. So, instead of suppressing the symptoms; psychology for social anxiety develops effective coping skills in patients to effectively overcome the social anxiety disorder once and for all.
The Difference Between A Psychiatrist And A Psychologist?
Ask an average person on the streets about what is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist and you will likely hear a mixture of impressive often confusing statements. The general public often mixes up these two professions and thinks they are the same. Although both study the brain, feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and often work together in the area of patient assessment and counseling, their education, training, and practice is very different from each other.
By learning what is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, you will be in a better position to decide which one is right for you. So, without wasting any time, let us look at some major differences between the two professions:
Psychiatry vs. Psychology – The Education
The educational requirements to become a psychiatrist are more complex than that of a psychologist. Like surgery, medicine, or paediatricts, Psychiatry is a medical specialty and psychiatrists have to earn an MD degree or higher and complete 2 years of residency training (foundation job) in psychiatry in hospitals before they can start their own practice.
Psychologist, on the other hand, do not attend any medical school, rather they earn their degrees (MA, M.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology or allied branches from a graduate school. Their education is more concentrated on personality development, psychological research, and the history of psychological problems.
Psychiatry vs. Psychology – The Treatment
Since Psychiatrists are trained doctors, they are responsible for diagnosing mental disorders and prescribing medications or medical treatments, as their expertise focuses purely on the chemical imbalances within the brain.
Psychologists, on the other hand, place more emphasis on dealing with and clarifying psychological mechanisms, they do not place as much importance on the physiological aspects. They rely on behavioral interventions to treat patients suffering from emotional and mental illnesses/disorders. They cannot prescribe medications, they rely on psychological testing to assess a patient’s mental state and determine the best course of action.
Psychiatry vs. Psychology – The Practice | What Is The Difference Between A Psychiatrist And A Psychologist?
While both a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist are trained to address mental/emotional health issues/disorder/abnormalities, Psychiatrists take into account the whole person, focusing on psychological history, biology, neurochemistry, and other medical conditions the patient might be undergoing, while Psychologists focus entirely on the human mind and human behavior.
Now that you are familiar with what is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, you need to keep in mind that no one profession is better than the other, rather both of them often work together in close coordination to achieve the common goal – help heal the mind.
How Many Sessions Do I Need With A Psychologist?
The word ‘psychology’ is a combination of two Greek words; ‘psyche’ which means ‘life’ and ‘logos’ which means ‘explanation. It is defined as the scientific study of the way human mind (mental processes) functions and how it influences human behavior. The person who studies these mental processes and human behavior is known as a ‘psychologist’. Psychologists perform their job by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to each other and to the environment. You may see psychologist working in the forensic field providing counseling and therapy to people in distress. You may also see them working in research laboratories, hospitals, medical clinics, universities, colleges, and with physicians and social workers treating illness and promoting overall wellness.
Many psychologists work independently and offer personalized counseling to their patients, while others as part of a larger healthcare team or in association with a physician or social worker to treat mental illnesses/disorder and promote overall health and wellbeing. Regardless of the type of setting they work in, psychologists help individuals, couples, and families identify, diagnose, and treat various mental, behavioral, as well as emotional disorders. For this purpose, the psychologist may conduct several counseling sessions with their clients and depend on the severity of the mental issue, general health of the patient, and his/her personal preference, these counseling sessions can last for weeks or months.
For people who have never seen a psychologist before, the questions like what does a psychology session involve, how many sessions do people generally see a psychologist for, and how long each session lasts for always strike the mind. Today we are going to focus on how many sessions do people generally see a psychologist for and try to find the best answer to this question.
How Many Sessions Do People Generally See a Psychologist For
Depending on the nature of the present concern and the severity of the symptoms, a psychologist will determine the number of therapy sessions required to solve the issue. Many people come and visit a psychologist for simpler issues, such as developing coping strategies to reduce or manage symptoms of mental illness. For all such issues, a psychologist may recommend short to medium term therapy sessions and lesser visits. However, if the deal with long-standing psychological issues such as relationship issues that stem from experiences from the childhood, the patient might need ongoing support and therefore a psychologist may recommend therapy for an extended period of time in order to prevent relapse.
What Does A Psychologist Do?
For many, the term ‘psychologist’ refers to a man or woman sitting in an office writing down notes as he/she listens to his/her patients. Sure, there are plenty of psychologists who work as counsellors or therapists, but there are many others who belong to the field of psychology and do a variety of other jobs. In fact, wherever there are people, there is always the role of a psychologist so that outcomes are improved. Today, we are going to shed some light on what does a psychologist do and try to understand how psychologists help describe, explain, predict, and influence human behaviour.
What Does a Psychologist Do?
Generally speaking, psychologists study human behavior and the human mental processes by means of observation, interpretation, and recording how people and animals related to one another and to the environment. For this purpose, the psychologists use scientific methods, procedures, and principles to test their theories and ideas. The main goal of a psychologist is to help increase understanding between individuals, groups, institutions, organizations, nations, and cultures.
Here are some of the specific tasks psychologists perform:
- conduct psychological research
- provide assessment and therapy to their clients
- administer psychological tests to individuals or groups
- help facilitate organizational or social change
In the early days, application of psychology revolved only around protecting people from emotional and physical stress by providing them the necessary mental and social support they needed to handle the psychological perils they faced in their daily lives. Today, psychologist use their skills and knowledge to investigate and resolve a wide range of individual and social issues such as aggression, prejudice, persuasion, attitudes, and interpersonal relationships.
Today, the field of psychology can be divided into several branches; all of which explore the study of ‘mind and behavior’; some of the more known branches of psychology are:
- Clinical Psychology – clinical psychologists are concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, psychiatric problems, and abnormal behavior.
- Cognitive Psychology – cognitive psychologists are concerned with how the brain processes and utilizes information and how it stores, learns and recognizes it. They investigate how people think, memorize, learn, solve problems, and recognize things.
- Counseling Psychology – counseling psychologists perform almost the same tasks as clinical psychologists, the only difference is that they tend to work with clients who suffer from less severe forms of mental illnesses such as emotional difficulties, psychological disturbances, stress, and behavioral problems.
- Experimental Psychology – experimental psychologist are concerned with performing research on human as well as animal behavior. They usually perform research on topics such a cognitive processes, substance abuse, motivation, genetics, and neuroscience.
- Forensic Psychology – forensic psychologist use their psychological skills and knowledge in the legal and criminal justice system. From offering psychotherapy services to crime victims to acting as a consultant in criminal cases, forensic psychologists help judges, attorneys, and other legal experts better understand the psychological findings of a particular case.
- Social Psychology – social psychologist use their psychological skills and knowledge to better understand how interactions with other people impact individual and group behavior.
As you can see, psychology is a very broad and diverse subject that has practical applications in almost all the major areas of life. Psychologists are working constantly on different aspects of the human mind, human behavior, and mental processes, adding new knowledge to our understanding of how people think, learn, react, and behave in everyday life.