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EXPECTED BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL RISKS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELLING

Many people feel a great deal of benefit from therapy, even after comparatively few meetings.  When a person comes to a turning point in life, help from someone who has experience in helping people getting through such difficulties, and an understanding of the processes you need to go through, can be invaluable.  Much research has been carried out on the effectiveness of psychotherapy.  Significant improvements have been demonstrated in a number of areas: symptoms, social and occupational functioning, family and other relationship patterns, personality and levels of self-esteem, confidence and optimism.  There can be a reduction in the relapse rate of severe mental illness.  Other studies have shown that with particular medical conditions there have been clear improvements, such as with inflammatory bowel disease and in the control of blood pressure and headaches.

Like any other treatment or life experience, psychotherapy may not be suitable for everyone.  Each individual has to make up their own mind about whether therapy is helpful for them.  The initial consultations aim to help people think about this, in collaboration with a therapist.  Persons contemplating psychotherapy should realise that clients frequently choose to make significant changes in their lives.  For example, people often modify their emotions, attitudes, and behaviours.  Also, clients may choose to make changes in their marriages or other significant relationships such as with partners, parents, children, friends, relatives and supervisors at work.  Because of psychotherapy, clients may change employment, begin to feel differently about themselves, and to otherwise alter significant aspects of their lives.  If you have questions about the benefits and risks of psychotherapy (or any other procedure), ask Dr. Neil or Dr. Silverberg for specifics.  They will be pleased to discuss these matters with you in simple, non-technical terms.