Individual psychotherapy for adults
Individual psychotherapy for adults
When you are suffering and feel like you are going in circles, going to therapy helps. An outside view. The therapist’s professional, non-judgmental listening, support and presence help to unblock a situation and to free oneself from an unhappy state of mind.
The therapist offers his or her knowledge and therapeutic techniques, but the real driver of change is the client. It is the client who engages in the therapeutic work, faces up to the emotions, revisits certain parts of his or her history, and experiences other ways of acting and seeing things.
Before consulting a therapist, it is important to find out what type of therapy he or she offers. But even more than the type of therapy offered, the quality of the therapeutic alliance, the relationship between the psychologist and the patient, is decisive in the success of the treatment.
Would you like to start a psychotherapy? Do not hesitate to contact me for more information or make an appointment for an initial individual consultation.
You can also consult the frequently asked questions about psychotherapy.
I am trained in various psychotherapies:
- Ericksonian hypnosis
- Rogerian therapy (or person-centred approach)
- cognitive behavioural therapies
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a thousand-year-old practice
It has been used since time immemorial, notably during magic-religious ceremonies by shamans, in certain African communities and among the South American Indians.
It was only towards the end of the 18th century that it began to move away from the religious to become a therapeutic practice.
Today, it still has a somewhat magical aura. It is often thought that it allows one to regress into past lives or to heal instantly by recovering a buried memory. Or we imagine that it implies submission to the will of an all powerful hypnotist…
According to Milton Erickson, the hypnotic state is merely the amplification of a natural phenomenon. You can experience it while watching the waves of the sea, while jogging, while dancing, while praying, while meditating and even while washing dishes or cutting vegetables…
Hypnosis is a special mental state
In this state, attention is focused. The outside world loses its importance. Body and mind become quiet.
We enter into another mode of relationship with ourselves and the environment; we become contemplative…This particular state, which is also called: “modified state of consciousness”, “trance”, “sophronic state”…is very useful in therapy and in everyday life. It allows us not to use only our rational and conscious will to solve our difficulties but to let go and rely on the knowledge of our unconscious.
In the hypnotic state, we learn to trust our resources. This ‘letting go’ is beneficial in resolving many difficulties.
Erickson saw the unconscious as a reservoir of solutions. The therapist’s role is to direct the patient towards his or her own resources.
The hypnotic state facilitates change. In this state, the person has the possibility to experience another way of feeling and perceiving things. Free from their usual thought patterns and rigid views of problems, they can open up to other, more advantageous visions.
How does a hypnosis session work?
Sitting or lying down, the person has their eyes closed or stares at a point on the wall. They are invited to make themselves comfortable. At their side, the therapist guides their attention… towards external sounds… towards certain areas of the body. He invites her to relax. The therapist gradually leads them to experience a hypnotic state and to deepen it.
This is only possible if the person wants it. No therapist has the power to go against the patient’s will.
The vast majority of people experience a deep relaxation, a feeling of being between sleep and wakefulness. They feel “a little elsewhere”, “absent”, or “hyper-aware”.
Direct suggestions (“you feel free from your difficulties”) or indirect suggestions (“most people can learn to relax”) are offered… Sometimes the therapist tells a story. Sometimes the therapist tells a story. In other cases, the therapist leads the person to anticipate his or her future or to recall childhood memories…
At the end of the session, the patient leaves the hypnotic state gently while the therapist counts down.
The contributions of Milton Erickson
Milton Erickson (1901-1980) was an American psychiatrist who revolutionised the practice of hypnosis. He is renowned for his exceptional therapeutic skills.
As a polio sufferer, he developed a keen sense of observation at a very young age and understood the influence that each person has in the perception of their reality. He tried to stimulate the resources and possibilities of adaptation of each patient. For him, the patient’s unconscious is capable of finding a creative solution to difficulties. He left us a whole series of innovative and confusing
Person Centred Therapy
What is person-centred therapy?
Person-centred therapy or Rogerian therapy was founded in the 1950s by Carl Rogers. The work of this psychologist on listening and the therapeutic relationship has had a profound effect on the human sciences.
For Rogers, what helps more than anything else is not the shrink’s expertise (his theoretical knowledge) but the therapeutic relationship and the therapist’s “savoir-être”.
He proposed the term “client” rather than “patient” because in the therapy he proposes: the expert is the client. It is the client who is the motor of change and holds the solution. The psychotherapist is there to help them find their own way.
If the client feels welcomed without judgement, if he feels free to feel and express things as he really feels them, if he feels deeply accepted and understood, he will be able to love himself more, to assert himself in his uniqueness and to develop at his best.
In Rogerian therapy, the basis for change is not ‘tools’ but the quality of an authentic human relationship.
Exposure to fear
One of the major principles of cognitive behavioural therapy is exposure. Rather than running away from what you fear, expose yourself to it!
But be careful, not in any way: it is a question of gradually exposing oneself to the fear, very gently, so as not to be overwhelmed by the emotion.
Thus, in cognitive-behavioural therapies, there are progressive desensitisation techniques. This involves exposing oneself to what one fears – first in thought, in imagination, then in reality.
CBTs (cognitive behavioural therapies) emphasise the importance of experimentation, the power of actions. Our actions speak louder than our words. When we avoid something that frightens us, our action convinces us that there really is an insurmountable obstacle, that there is reason to be afraid. In doing so, in our own minds, the idea of danger is reinforced.
By gradually confronting the fear, we can realise ‘in our gut’ that the fear was not as terrible as it seemed to us. Realizing this experientially changes our mental representations.
Fear is an instinctive reaction, controlled by the limbic brain, which is faster than the cortex involving reflection. In order to calm fear, it is useless to reason about it, we must experience in our body that the danger is not as terrible as we had imagined.
Improving self-image through photography
First of all, we get to know each other. A therapeutic relationship in which you feel confident is the indispensable foundation of the work. We can then begin the work with photography, whether it be through photos of yourself, projective cards or pictures I take of you.
Exploring the relationship to one’s image is enriching. Far from being superficial, this exploration refers to essential and even existential questions:
My relationship to myself:
- What do I like about myself?
- WWhat do I not like (and why not?)
My relationship with reality, with my (real or supposed) ‘faults’:
- What can I (possibly) change (and how?)
- What can I not change and can learn to accept?
My way of existing and asserting myself:
- Am I in comparison and systematic reference to models, to socially or familially imposed stereotypes of beauty?
My desire :
- Do I want to seduce? Who do I want to seduce and how?
- Is my image congruent with what I wish to signify to the other?
My relationships :
- What do I communicate to the other person via my image?
My relationship with the passing of time.
So many questions that we will take the time to address together.