Is psychological therapy effective?
The following contents are derived from the most current information by the Australian Psychological Society:
Research shows psychological treatments are effective in managing many common mental health concerns. Certain psychological therapies are at least as effective as medication in assisting some of the most common conditions like depression and anxiety. A summary of the current research in the field indicates the following about a range of psychological treatments:
- They are effective at treating the most common mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.
- They are the treatment of choice for most childhood problems.
- People treated by these therapies are less likely to relapse after treatment than those treated by medication only.
- They are practical and beneficial treatments, in terms of effectiveness and cost.
Is psychological therapy for ‘crazy’ or severely disturbed people?
Unfortunately there is still a great deal of stigma attached to seeing a psychologist or therapist and this prevents many people from getting help. In reality, therapists help people from all walks of life, with issues of varying intensity and type. Although psychologists can help those suffering from more severe mental illness, they can also help those concerned with issues of lower intensity or those who simply wish to improve their quality of life. Please read more about our services to see how our psychologist can help you and your family.
My problems are a result of real adverse life circumstances. How can therapy help me?
At times life can send our way quite complex or overwhelming challenges. Some examples could include grieving the loss of a loved one, relationship problems, financial difficulties, health problems or trouble making sense of the current world problems. Therapy can assist with these and similar problems in two major ways:
- Assisting the way you process, understand and make sense of your current adverse circumstances. As an example, physical pain can often become more difficult to tolerate because of the simultaneous thoughts and feelings we are having. These thoughts and feelings may be less noticeable than the pain itself, but can largely hinder our ability to cope with the pain. Therapy can also assist us in better coping with issues such as relationship, health or financial difficulties. Once we can cope better, we may in turn be more capable of managing the situation or making more helpful decisions.
- Therapy can also assist in enhancing various skills such as interpersonal or organisational skills. When required, therapy can be quite solution focused and goal oriented. In this way, therapy can directly help you modify and improve the adverse conditions that are impacting you.
How long will it take for therapy to help me feel better?
While some people find adequate help in just a few sessions (e.g. 3 or 4), others find that they are in need of or interested in more extended therapy. The length of therapy is a result of several complex factors, including:
- The types of problems you are experiencing and how severe, complex and chronic vs. acute they are in nature.
- Your commitment and focus on therapy – your efforts toward implementing what is covered in sessions to your everyday living, completing your homework practices and regular attendance of your appointments.
- Your available emotional resources and level of insight into your problems.
- The type and degree of your current stressors.
- Your relationship with your therapist and a sense that you and your therapist are collaborating well as a team to treat the problems faced.