About Our Psychotherapy
There are many theories and methods of psychotherapy. The client’s needs and what kind of training the counselor has received determines which method or methods are used.
Let us tell you what approaches we take at So-getsu.
The intake session takes one hour and a half. The counselor will ask you details of the issues you are facing and how they have progressed over time. The counselor will share with you his or her impressions and what may be the main cause of the issue or problems. The counselor will do a rough assessment of your case and then share with you the method of counseling, what will be the goal for the sessions and how long it might take. Also, how frequently you should come in for the session, with the client’s input.
The therapist chooses the best way to work with the client, and the therapist also would recommend whether individual, couples or family sessions (or some combination) are needed. And if the therapist feels that the client needs to see a psychiatrist, we will recommend one for you to go to.
The following is a brief list of problems that you can come to counseling for: the children of alcoholics (ACoA), other dysfunctional families, PTSD, childhood trauma, domestic violence, depression, anxiety disorders, developmental disabilities etc.
And should we decide that we cannot be helpful to your case we will refer you to another clinic or to decline the request for counseling. These are rare cases, but our reasons for declining to provide services include heavy alcohol dependence, drug abuse, severe mental illness, learning disorders, elderly cognitive issues such as dementia, and strong suicidal intent. For these reasons we might tell you to go see a different provider.
Many people come for weekly sessions. Eventually, the frequency of sessions can be reduced. An individual session is usually 60 minutes, couple’s sessions are one hour and 15 minutes, and family sessions are one hour and ½. In psychotherapy sessions we deal with in-depth psychology, so it’s difficult to say clearly when counseling is finished. Some clients decide to come for only a few times. Other clients come for six months or a year, and some for many years.
But in most cases some improvement should be evident, and if it’s not, then we might recommend a different method or different clinic. People who come for counseling for many years do so for their own growth. Sometimes they don’t even have issues/problems, but they can just maintain the health of their minds by reflecting on their lives.
How We Proceed With Therapy Sessions
Usually we sit across from each other on a sofa. Sometimes we may ask you to lay down on the couch for regression therapy or for relaxation. And sometimes you might work at a desk, to draw pictures.
Our main basic approach or understanding is that we believe the client has the innate ability to heal themselves and to transform their lives. And so the counselor’s job is to really just to help them find their own wisdom, helping them to realize and know how sacred and wonderful being they are.
And as a tool we use the DSM and also psychosocial assessment for greater understanding. And as needed we might use psycho-social education, cognitive-behavioral approach, regression therapies, assertiveness training, art work, past life regression, affirmation, imagery, psychodynamic counseling and existential, etc.
Sometimes we give you homework to do which helps you to reflect on your own feelings, e.g., by writing in a journal, writing down dreams or practicing self-care. And sometimes we ask you to buy some books to do some work together in them.
Who Comes to Counseling?
It really varies, but we get people from different countries, married, unmarried, divorced, gay or lesbian, etc. We get adult clients from their 20’s to 70’s. Currently we see about 60% women and 40% men. By Skype, we see clients from all over the world, including Japan.
What to Expect and Consider when coming to counseling
The most important thing is that clients themselves decide to maintain a strong will to look at the issues that they are coming to explore. It is their own intention to change and willingness to explore the issue that leads to the best outcomes.
The counselor’s job is to accompany you on your journey. We seek to be a close and empathetic listener. You could say we are like a midwife and that you as clients are really the person who gives birth to the baby. Those clients who have the most difficulty getting good results from therapy tend to believe that the therapist has all the answers. They may also seek other professionals such as psychics.
If you want to connect with your guardian angels you need to look for a gifted psychic.
Or you can also remember that we all have innate intuitive abilities and you might want to do some exercises to improve your own psychic abilities.