Within every individual pulsates a wonderful life force. When this life force is nurtured and has plenty of room to express itself, a sense of joy and fulfillment follow. Inevitable stresses, crises and obstacles can seriously dampen this life force. This dampening can occur early or later in life. In either case, individuals sometimes need help to work through problems that may have developed because of these life events. One source of help is individual therapy.
Most common challenges for which people seek individual therapy include:
The goal of all therapy is to help a client to heal and to flourish. In the context of a supportive relationship, therapist and client identify key issues, and patterns of thinking and behaving that get in the way of living life fully. At the same time, they discover personal strengths and resources that the client may have forgotten or overlooked. From a resourced place, the client moves through challenges, feeling empowered and encouraged. (The word stem “cour” comes from the French word, “coeur” or “heart.”)
Although some therapists stick to a favourite approach in therapy, most will draw on several approaches depending on the client. For example, one approach is to educate the client. The therapist can provide information on communication and assertiveness skills or stress management. Another approach is the psychodynamic exploration of the past which can bring insight and appreciation for the way things are. There is the brief solution approach that highlights what has worked for the client in the past. Yet another approach is to do desensitization work. This is a mainstay approach for trauma work. Working with family systems can be invaluable.
No matter what approach, the therapist’s job is to listen deeply and appreciatively. The client’s job is to share thoughts and feelings as openly as his level of trust will allow. Therapy is a collaboration. Each learns from the other, in this sacred journey from murkiness to light.