Each person is unique and comes with different issues and desires to psychotherapy, so the process will be different depending on the individual.
But in general, you can expect to be invited to share and discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal and family history relevant to your issue, and report on your everyday life and insights from the previous therapy session. Tailored to meet your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, aimed at resolving a specific issue, or open-ended or longer-term, to deal with more difficult, demanding patterns or following your wish for deeper personal development. In both cases, it is common to schedule regular sessions, usually at the same time and on a weekly basis.
It is significant to know you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate goal of therapy is to help you bring what you learn, feel and integrate in the sessions back into your life. Therefore, additional to the work you do in therapy sessions, I sometimes suggest some activities you can do outside of the therapy room to better support your process – such as reading a specific book, journaling, taking notes about certain behaviors or similar.
Confidentiality in psychotherapy process means that your in-therapy disclosures will remain private and will not be shared with anyone. Effective therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly delicate subjects and content that is very often not discussed anywhere but the psychotherapist’s office.
Still, sometimes you may want your psychotherapist to give an update to someone on your healthcare team or share information about your progress (for example, your psychiatrist; your employer regarding the reimbursement of psychotherapy costs, etc.), and that can be done with your written permission.
However, professional ethics require psychotherapists to keep confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse.
- If a client is threatening to harm another person.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself.
In a large number of situations, the answer is – yes.
I was not too enthusiastic about online sessions before the pandemic, and I did not like to practice them. When the epidemic came, I wanted to respond in an empathetic and pragmatic way and continue with open processes, thus supporting clients in a challenging period.
I was amazed at how effective online sessions can be in creating a sense of genuine interconnectedness and how deeply they can be experienced by clients, whether it’s individual psychotherapy or working in group settings.