Psychotherapy: a short compendium of knowledge

The use of psychotherapy is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon in Poland. However, it is worth knowing that psychotherapy occurs in many different models and the selection of the appropriate form is important for the effects of the therapeutic process.

Psychotherapy: an overview of the main therapeutic approaches

In Poland, psychotherapy can be divided into two main categories, namely therapeutic approaches derived from Freudian psychoanalysis and forms of therapy derived from modern cognitive psychology and cognitive science. The first ones include mainly:

1. Psychotherapy in terms of psychodynamics. This approach is the most popular among Polish clinicians. It derives from the assumptions of the psychoanalysis of the Freudian school and its further modifications throughout the 20th century. The psychodynamic approach aims to get to the hidden sources of mental problems and then work through them. It is important not only to find the source of problems and understand the mechanisms governing our psyche, but also to “experience” traumas, fears and anxieties. As part of group therapy, the so-called psychodrama. Individual therapy is largely based on the transfer mechanism, in which the patient focuses on the therapist feelings, emotions, fears, fears and reproaches to important people in his life.
2. Psychotherapy in the psychoanalytical approach. This form is much less popular than the psychodynamic approach. It is also much more closely related to the assumptions of psychoanalysis. In this approach, the aim is, first of all, for the patient to discover the hidden sources of his problem and to make them aware and understand them.

Behavioral-cognitive psychotherapy

But how is psychotherapy in models derived from cognitive psychology? Here, one should first of all point to cognitive-behavioral therapy. In principle, it denies the very existence of the unconscious in the Freudian sense. This therapeutic model focuses on the analysis of the patient’s cognitive and behavioral patterns and their rational correction. Advantages of the behavioral-cognitive approach? It is currently the only form of psychotherapy that has been proven effective. On the other hand, clinicians point to a very limited scope of this approach and its ineffectiveness in the case of people with serious mental problems.

How to choose the type of psychotherapy?

It is assumed that cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is effective in treating:

  • 1. Phobias
  • 2. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • 3. Mania
  • 4. Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • 5. Certain neurotic and depressive states

At the same time, clinicians mostly point out that for people suffering from other mental problems, psychodynamic therapy will be the best option. It is used, inter alia, in such cases as:

  • 1. Personality disorders
  • 2. Bipolar affective disorder (depending on the patient’s condition)
  • 3. Depressions and neuroses
  • 4. Deep trauma
  • 5. Other mental problems of a mixed nature (it is worth remembering that, for example, personality disorders often occur together with depression or neuroses)

It should be noted that psychotherapy in terms of psychodynamics is a long-term process that requires a serious and reliable approach on the part of the patient. Mental state may also deteriorate temporarily during the therapy. In some patients, it is discouraged to start deep-sea therapy, e.g. because of too fragile mental structure or low frustration tolerance. Therefore, it is undoubtedly an extremely demanding and sometimes even difficult form of therapy, both for the patient and the therapist.

Other forms of psychotherapy

In addition to the approaches mentioned above, there are of course also several other interesting therapeutic models. The problem is that they are absent or negligible in Poland. These models include, among others:

  • 1. Existential psychotherapy
  • 2. Humanistic psychotherapy
  • 3.¬†Ericksonian¬†psychotherapy

Each of these models is derived from different assumptions. Also, the course of the therapeutic process is different than in the case of the psychodynamic or behavioral-cognitive approach.

What should you consider when choosing a therapist?

Choosing the right form of therapy is not enough. The extent to which psychotherapy will be effective is always the result of several factors, including the therapist’s competence.

Before going to the office, you should check whether the specialist has the appropriate psychotherapist’s certificates. It is also worth paying attention to the number of obtained certificates, scientific publications and membership of psychotherapists’ associations. Another important factor is the way the therapy is conducted. Dynamic psychotherapy necessarily places a heavy burden on the therapist, which means that he should regularly use supervision. Ask your specialist about this.

There is one more important thing. In Poland, practically anyone can open a psychotherapy office. However, it should be remembered that the mere completion of e.g. psychological studies does not make a person a qualified therapist. The same applies to psychiatrists, as long as they have not trained in psychotherapy

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