Psychotherapy Melbourne Simon Weber BA, Grad. Dip. Systemic Psychotherapy

What happens in counselling and psychotherapy?

Going to psychotherapy or counselling is often misunderstood as a sign of weakness or failure. There is a commonly held cultural stigma about "getting help". By contrast, coming to psychotherapy or counselling will demand of you a great deal of courage and determination, facing up to difficulties often long neglected. In my view, it is hard work for both client and therapist; and there is no part of it that is weak, or soft, or wishy-washy.

In reality what happens in psychotherapy and counselling is assisted self-help. Your difficulties in the world are explored individually, from your own perspective; and ways are sought from within you to influence the problem being encountered.

The first task is to search for a deep understanding of what you are experiencing -- what questions can be asked about your experience and how can we ask them? What exactly is your experience; and how does it show itself to you and others? Where does it come from? How can its arising be explained? Is it alone; or is it linked in with other experiences? Is it a sign of another experience that is unseen or outside awareness? Often difficult experiences are arranged in a web-like structure in which they interact with each other...

Is the real problem positioned behind a false self-image or an unsustainable belief that it is hard to imagine changing? If you describe the real problem, would you feel ashamed of yourself; or frightened for your safety; or anxious about the future; or depressed about your life?

Or if you dared to describe the real problem, would you feel relief, the pressure off...? Would it suddenly feel like you had a rare authenticity within reach, or even in your hands for the first time...?

As the answers to these questions begin to develop new possibilities, you can begin to experiment with different ways of seeing yourself, running your life and living out your relationships. It's risky, exciting, revealing; and often relieving... It's both esoteric and pragmatic, balancing ideas and emotions with day-to-day embodied reality.

Read here about the difference between psychology and psychotherapy.

Email me for further information or with any questions and I will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible. ALL ENQUIRIES ARE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL.


My responsibilities...

My responsibilty as therapist is to find ways to enquire about you, drawing on established theory and a knowledge base about human experience built over many years since Freud invented the "talking cure" in the late 19th Century. Many others since then have added to this bank of ideas -- my job is to find out which parts of this fund of knowledge make sense of your past and present experience; and to help you create from it and your own desires, new ways of living your particular life in a more fulfilling manner.

My interests...

My professional interest rests on the one hand with psychodynamics, or the influence of the unconscious in our experience (the repressed, the unspeakable, the unacceptable, the unfinished). And on the other hand with family systems, or who we are born to, grow up with, and how we're shaped by events (and responses to them) in the family. There is a lot of interplay between psychodynamics and family systems.

In couples work it is essential to understand the dance between arising individual experience (what's coming up in your mind and body) and the dynamics of interacting experience (what's going on between your mind and body and another's mind and body).

I also think a lot about the existential aspect of the human condition, or how to answer in day to day living those profound questions about the meaning of life: Why am I here? What is my life for? What does it mean to live a good life? What am I really like? What are the people close to me really like?

There are times when these questions burn more brightly, usually when a crisis arises or a major change is imminent or needed. Bringing the big questions to the work keeps it connected to those absolute fundamentals that underwrite almost everything that we think, feel and do.

Email me for further information or with any questions and I will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible. ALL ENQUIRIES ARE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL.

The difference between Psychology and Psychotherapy...

A quick definition might be that Psychology is a scientific endeavour; whereas Psychotherapy is a philosophical endeavour. Another way of expressing this is to say that Psychology wants to know what is wrong with you; whereas Psychotherapy wants to know who you are and how you came to be this and how you can change it if you want to...

Psychology is interested in outcomes in "the world out there"; and psychotherapy is interested in what it's like in "the world inside you" and how this relates to your experience in the outside world.

Psychotherapy is not about advice giving, nor about applying formatted techniques, nor about offering prescribed ideas, nor telling you what to do or how... Psychotherapy is about you and how you will take responsibility for the life you have. Many psychologists do practice psychotherapy (and many don't!). Psychotherapy is essentially interactional (between you and the world you perceive), relational (between you and me as an image of between you and the world outside), focused very much on your actual experience in the here-and-now (as affected by past experience and future expectations), and seeking to obtain changes and improvements in life that are tailored to your particular circumstances and aspirations rather than generalist solutions to problems grouped into diagnostic categories .

Being so different from psychologists, psychotherapists are generally not Registered Providers in terms of Medicare and Health Funds, and rebates are not usually available on fees charged. However bear in mind that the number of sessions usually available for rebate are limited to ten or twelve at best; and full fees will become payable after this time even for registered providers. Psychotherapy is by intention a very different process and thorough work often needs a greater rather than a smaller number of sessions. Clients also often come to therapy for, say six months, and then stop to enact and practice change; and then return for the next piece of work. In other words it is about slow growth rather than quick solutions.
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