There are different kinds of psychologists
Different psychologists have slightly different training. To sum up, one usually distinguish between psychodynamic psychologists, behavioral therapists, cognitive psychologists (or cognitive behavioral psychologists) and psychologists with various humanistic and/or existential orientations.
What kind of psychologist should you choose?
Briefly, you should choose a behavioral (BT) or cognitive-oriented psychologist (CBT) if you have a clearly defined problem, such as a phobia or some other problem where you are relatively clear with what you want. These psychologists are not interested in any significant way about the cause of a psychological problem; To sum up they say: "The symptom is the problem."
Humanistic/existential psychologists are a very diverse group with many different approaches to life, but essentially you can say that they work more with personal development than with psychological disorders.
In psychodynamic psychotherapy - which now constitute a rather mixed group - one usually start with the present, and then seek to access relevant occations earlier in life as well as the relationship with important people; your parents, spouse, children or other important kin or relatives. To conclude - if you have a clearly defined problem like panic attacks, difficulty in public speaking, fear of traveling by bus or to even fear to leave your home: choose CBT.
If you don't suffer from any more disturbing problems, but want to "grow" further: choose someone humanistic therapy.
If you have a problem that recurs both at work and within the family, and perhaps even with acquaintances, the psychoanalytically oriented therapy is best.
Depression is more difficult to give advice about. In my opinion there are many different forms of depression. Some problems can be soothed with the help of psychotropic drugs, others with physical training (actually, there is research saying that. But this assumes of course that you are able to begin such training), and still others require deeper insights.
The various forms are preferably treated by a psychiatrist, a CBT therapist and a psychoanalytically oriented psychologist. Deeper depression can be treated with a combination of psychotropic drugs and some form of psychotherapy.
Alas, many "self medicate" with alcohol. That require a special kind of psychotherapy to handle (which I consider one of my specialities).
Psychotherapy - for how long time?
Quite naturally behavioral or cognitive oriented therapies are shorter because of their more narrow and precise formulation of the problem. Such a specification should be done as quickly as possible when starting therapy. Perhaps such treatment will suffice with 10-20 times, even if there are behavioral therapies that can last for several years.
Other forms of therapy can last anywhere from 5-10 times up to several years. How long depends on several factors:
* How ambitious you are.
* How much time and money you have. (You usually see your therapist once a week - more often in a crisis - and sometimes: just for support without any real form of processing or understanding, more rarely, perhaps once a month. Sometimes your employer or your insutance company will pay.
What happens during the course of therapy?
Unlike behavioral and cognitive therapies, during a psychodynamic therapy there is a constant reappraisal of the diagnosis; i.e., "below an obvious cause" you may after a while find a "deeper, more original cause". This kind of psychotherapy is comparable to a "journey inside yourself" with your psychotherapist as a travel companion.
How do you find the different kinds of psychologists?
The easiest way is by searching through Google, Eniro.se or in the telephone directory Yellow Pages.
You write, for example in Google: +Uppsala, +psychotherapy +depression
You might preferably add: +licenced or +legitimerad
The +sign means that all the three words must be included in search results. Do you want a particular word not to be included, type a minus sign, e.g., -Stockholm. (Many psychologists in Stockholm advertise in Uppsala).
What does "licensed psychotherapist" mean?
In Sweden there are 21 regulated health care professions that require a licence to practise, issued by Socialstyrelsen.
A licensed (n.b.) psychotherapist is of Socialstyrelsen assessed to have an approved training for his work. Pre training could be e.g., psychologist, social worker, physician, or a priest. In addition, required are core courses in psychotherapy (1 ½ year), own psychotherapy and then psychotherapeutic work under supervision for at least two years. Both at the beginning of training and during training, the aspiring psychotherapist's suitability for the profession is assessed.
For a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT), no self-therapy is needed. Instead they have developed a system called "self-experience".
Psycho-analytically oriented psychologists, so-called "dynamic psychologists" puts more emphasis on their having come to grips with the "flaws" we all aquire throughout life. The vast majority of licensed psychotherapists have an undergraduate psychology degree.
© This text may not be copied without permission of Sigvard Lingh
Books written by Sigvard Lingh