Answers to questions about Analytical Psychotherapy

Who can benefit from therapy?

Analytical Psychotherapy is suited to helping adults with a wide range of concerns. These may include quite specific issues such as anxiety, depression, eating difficulties, suicidal feelings, sexual abuse, or obsessional thoughts and behaviours. It may also help with more widespread issues such as difficulties in relationships, or with a sense of dissatisfaction with oneself and in one's life. This may include a lack of fulfilment or feelings of underachievement. This type of therapy is frequently used to ameliorate the impact of trauma, particularly when it has been experienced in childhood. Analytical Psychotherapy is also sought by individuals seeking greater understanding of themselves and self-awareness or by those who feel blocked in their personal development or creativity.

Effectiveness of Analytical Psychotherapy

This form of psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective form of treatment for a wide range of personal, emotional and behavioural difficulties.  Analytical psychotherapy can bring about deep-seated change by working in depth with the issues that the individual brings to their treatment. It has, in particular, been shown to bring about long-term change that continues for many years after the treatment has ended. This is understood to be because the the individual has come to understand themselves, and to manage their  difficulties more constructively, as well as to have developed skills and ways of behaving that are more personally effective in a wide range of settings. Aspects of the personality that were under-expressed or under-used are also often felt to have been strengthened and developed.

People are suitable for this form of therapy regardless of age, colour, race, religion, sexual orientation or educational background.

What happens in therapy?

Analytical psychotherapy is a process that encourages people to explore and come to understand their difficulties at some depth. This is achieved by forming a trusting relationship with the therapist that facilitates a sense of openness and enquiry. Long term patterns of behaviour as well as current, everday difficulties, which can limit how someone functions, are considered. This is conducted in an environment of non-judgemental exploration, in which the focus is on understanding not blame.

The sessions last 50 minutes.There is an initial consultation where both the therapist and the person seeking therapy explore the issues that are of concern in a secure and confidential setting. It may take between 1 and 3 sessions to determine what is best for the individual, and whether analytic psychotherapy is the best treatment for them.  If not, recommendations of other treatments and practitioners will be explored.

These initial sessions usually give a sense of both the analyst as a person and what the analytical psychotherapy process is like, and whether it is the right approach.

Differences between therapy and counselling

Analytical Psychotherapy is based upon the work of CG Jung and grounded in the work that has since emerged from this and from other Psychoanalytic schools. While counsellors may make use of this theory it is not an approach that is fundamentally based on such work.

Analytical Psychotherapy emphasises open-ended exploration of relevant issues in a way that is generally deeper, more intensive, and of longer duration than counselling. It is possible, and often advisable, to attend analytical psychotherapy at a frequency greater than once a week. This is not typical with a counselling approach, which is usually shorter-term and problem-focussed. Also, where analytical psychotherapy explores the presented issues as they constellate in the immediate therapeutic relationship, the focus in counselling is more often on advice concerning the practical steps that can be taken to resolve any issues arising in the life of the individual outside the therapy dyad.

Psychotherapy often becomes the treatment of choice when other psychological approaches have not been able to address a problem, or when it becomes apparent that an issue is more complex or involved than was originally thought. In Analytical Psychotherapy, with the focus on long-term behaviour patterns, the significant and formative experiences of early childhood often come to the fore. The subsequent explication of unconscious, underlying factors may be the only way to address and to change these behaviours.

Some practitioners advertise themselves as both counsellor and psychotherapist because they trained and practised as counsellors before completing an intensive psychotherapy training, and they may incorporate approaches from both orientations with some of their clients. When seeking someone to help with psychological difficulties, the most important factor is to find an individual with whom you feel comfortable and to whom you feel able to talk.

Ethical Practice

All the Analytical Psychotherapists on this register are bound by a code of practice that has been drafted by their local regulatory body (WMIP or SAP for example) but then approved by their national governing body (UKCP or BPC).  These guidelines are both clear and rigorous in their expectations for ethical practice in terms of both boundaries and confidentiality.  The practice of accredited practitioners is monitored on a regular basis by both the local and the national organizations.

What is WMIP?

The West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy is the local psychotherapy institute that is based in Birmingham. It functions as an umbrella organization which comprises two trainings in adult psychotherapy (the one being the Analytical Psychotherapy training, which is described on this website) and provides a number of lectures, conferences and short courses that are part of the continuing professional development of all its members.  This is also a part of the service that it offers to the wider community who may have an interest in furthering their knowledge of psychotherapy.  It also monitors and maintains the practice guidelines for all the practitioners registered with this institute.  The practices of the institute and both its training courses (The Training in Analytical Psychotherapy and the Training in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy) are monitored and accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

To find out more about this institute see their website www.wmip.org

Supervision

The professional Analytical Psychotherapists who are listed on this register are also available to be contacted for supervision of work with clients/patients by practitioners in related fields.  More details concerning possible arrangements, availability and fees can be obtained by contacting the individual practitioners either by phone or email.