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What Is Counseling & Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy and counseling, "the talking cures," are the practices of healing your emotions, mind and soul through tending your relationships with your self, your family, your friends and your business associates. They are characterized by a series of private and confidential meetings with a therapist. This series consist of a few weekly meetings or many sessions over a few years, depending on the problems presented, your goals, your values, and of course your choice. Good psychotherapy has scientific and intuitive components and requires a wise, creative, and dynamic balance between the two.

There are dozens of types of individual and family therapies. However, research has shown that no one orientation is superior to the others. Research does suggest that a therapist who is comfortable and confident with his/her therapy style and both lives out (or embodies) that philosophy and can communicate it to clients is most effective.

Good counseling and therapy are mirrors in which you can see yourself and your family more honestly and clearly. Many successful people characterize their therapist as "a primary physician for their emotional, psychological, relationship and even spiritual lives." As a guide, mentor or coach, a good counselor is an objective, compassionate, and wise listener. More than a problem solver him/herself, a fine therapist is an expert on helping you solve your own problems in your own way. The wise therapist can also be seen as a referral source to ideas, feelings, attitudes, issues, activities, resources and people that could prove especially be helpful to you.

A crucial factor in successful counseling is feeling comfortable and confident about your therapist and view him/her as a trustworthy, caring, healthy, competent, and moral person who understands your problems and relates well to you and with you. It is most important that you feel engaged in a process that is transformational and fulfilling. So be a good consumer and choose your therapist carefully and wisely.

-aeh