There are many myths surrounding talking therapies. On this page I try to debunk some of them by answering some of the most frequently asked questions.
How do I know if I need therapy / counselling?
There are a number of reasons that can lead you to decide to start therapy / counseling: to gain clarity on an issue, to change your old habits, to untangle complex personal issues, or for your own personal development. You may seek therapy /counselling because of a personal crisis, or might be encouraged by your family or friends. Most people decide to start therapy /counselling when these difficulties have become so great that they feel that they affect their daily lives negative and difficult to manage.
What happens during a session?
There is no standard format for a session. The session lasts an hour and that is your time to talk about whatever concerns you. You are free to discuss everyday events, dilemmas, thoughts, expectations, feelings, memories and dreams. I provide you with a safe place in order for you to explore the issues that concern you and work towards your self-improvement. If you need a more practical and structured approach, then Personal Life Coaching or CBT is probably a more ideal talking therapy for you.
What issues can talking therapies help with?
Clients bring to therapy a wide range of problems including anxiety (panic attacks, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder, claustrophobia), pressure at work, life-work imbalance, relationship issues (separations, divorce, choosing the wrong partners, loneliness, wedding & premarital issues, quarrels, jealousy), sexual problems (impotence, sex addiction, loss of sexual desire), trauma (PTSD, sexual abuse and other attacks), obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, distorted body image), depression (low mood, social isolation, suicidal ideation), phobias, addiction and substance abuse, low self-esteem and confidence, abuse (physical and verbal), bereavement and loss. The most common reasons that someone seeking treatment are anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
What kinds of people usually seek therapy?
There is not a certain kind of person who would seek some type of talking therapy and very different types of people benefit from them. All you need is a desire for change and willingness to work. As a therapist I welcome and encourage diversity and I have worked with people from all socio-politico-economic strata, regardless of religion, race, gender, and sexual preference.
How long should I be in therapy?
The duration of therapy varies and depends solely on you and the nature of the issues you bring to therapy. However, in my experience, you cannot really make lasting progress if you are not in therapy for at least 6 to 12 months. In therapy we analyze in depth your issues with the ultimate goal of resolving the causes and not just treat the symptoms. It is important when coming to therapy to have made a conscious decision about what you seek and expect out of the therapeutic process and have an understanding that therapy involves commitment from your part in terms of emotion, time and money, for a short period of your life.
Will the sessions be confidential?
The content and details of our sessions are confidential and are only shared between the Psychologist and the client (Law 991 of 117/20,12,1979, Article 9, FEK Α 278). However, this confidentiality does not include cases in which:
Ι. Serious injury or harm is about to happen to a person.
ΙΙ. Child abuse has been revealed during sessions.
ΙΙΙ. Violation of the law is going to take place.
ΙV. The Psychologist is called to testify in court.[/expand]
Can the Psychologist prescribe medication if I need it?
Psychologists – Counsellors are not certified doctors, and therefore do not have the license nor the necessary knowledge to prescribe medication. Psychiatrists have studied medicine rather than psychotherapy/counselling, with the exception of those who have continued their studies to include that specialisation. So Psychiatrists are the ones who can prescribe anxiolytics, antidepressants and other medication that may be necessary in your case, but that usually treat only the symptoms without resolving the actual causes of the issues. If you feel that you need medication, then your therapist should work together with your psychiatrist to help you in your healing process.
Why do sessions need to be weekly?
Regularity is very important for the therapeutic process to be effective. The standard form of treatment, which is weekly sessions, helps you to make gradual and consistent progress. In some cases, if we determine that it is beneficial, we can agree on two or more sessions a week for a while.
Why do I have to pay for sessions that I cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice?
If you do decide to start therapy after our initial assessment, I will set aside a specific day and time each week for you. This time will be exclusively yours. It will never be used to see another client and you will never have to wait to start your session. It is important when coming to therapy to have made a conscious decision about what you seek and expect out of the therapeutic process and have an understanding that therapy involves a commitment from your part in terms of emotion, time and money, for a short period of your life. This commitment is reciprocated, so that a good therapeutic relationship can be developed, which according to research is the most important factor for a successful therapeutic outcome.
Can I refer someone to therapy?
Friends, family and colleagues may be worried about an individual’s mental health. It is much more helpful however, for that person to contact me themselves, as an important step in therapy is to acknowledge that we need help. I can answer any enquiries and give you any information that you may have on behalf of someone else, but the session must be booked via telephone by the person themselves.
You contact me and I give you my Skype username, which you can also find at my website. We arrange our first online session, which is free. If you decide to continue with the talking therapy that we decide together that is more useful to you, we book the day and time that suits us both, and you prepay each session in my bank account.