Psychotherapy, what it is and whether it’s worth looking into

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

Although psychotherapy is a treatment with conversation, it is not the same as going out with friends for coffee and confiding your problems. Contrary to popular opinion, psychotherapy is not about giving advice, comforting, or handing out tissues. What is psychotherapy about and where does its effectiveness come from?

Good psychotherapy: what does it mean?

Psychotherapy is not a dentist’s office, where the patient is more an object of treatment than an active participant. It’s worth remembering that even the best psychotherapist won’t do the job all the work for the patient. That is not what psychotherapy is about. The patient must want a change in his life, show commitment, otherwise the therapist will not be able to help him, even if he himself stands on his toes.

Good therapy does not tie the patient to the therapist, but gives him the tools and a sense of responsibility for his own life. Psychotherapy is not the same as having coffee with a friend, because the therapist tries first of all to understand the patient and get to the root of the problem. He is an impartial person, able to look at certain things objectively and remain impartial. He does not get caught up in emotions the way friends or family do.

Tasks and goals of a conversation with a therapist

A therapeutic conversation helps to realize what the current troubles stem from. It gives the patient a chance to get to recurring patterns and beliefs that make life difficult. It allows the patient to consider whether he really wants to change them. And if so, in what direction should these changes go. An understanding conversation allows us to reach our blockages as well.

Often we find that we will have to go back to certain experiences and relive the accompanying emotions and feelings once again. Such time travel will allow the patient to make changes in the present. Even those events that took place many years ago can keep him in their snares, cause some disbelief in himself, his own abilities, thus not allowing him to “move on” in a particular sphere of life.

The therapeutic conversation is therefore not about imposing the therapist’s views on the patient, but is supposed to help him understand himself. Another important point is the opportunity to experience a new kind of relationship that will help transcend whatever is preventing change. Just understanding why we behave in a certain way is already a lot, but still not enough. What is still needed is a good environment for learning to cope differently.

Psychotherapy, what it is and whether it's worth looking into
Psychotherapy, what it is and whether it’s worth getting interested in it

Cognitive-behavioral therapy in addiction treatment

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a synthesis of two earlier therapeutic traditions: cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Behavioral addictions, on the other hand, are a new group of psychological addictions that involve compulsive performance of certain pleasurable activities. Performing them gives a temporary feeling of euphoria and relief, but results in an even stronger need to repeat them. This is how the vicious cycle of addiction is fueled.

Among the most common behavioral addictions are: shopaholism, gambling, compulsive overeating, orthorexia, sexaholism, workaholism, netaholism, phonoholism, kleptoholism, tarnorexia, bigorexia and many, many others. With these types of addictions, addiction therapy – cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with motivational dialogue – is primarily used. The goal of psychotherapy is to analyze the behaviors or situations that foster the behavior. Harmful habits are then replaced with new (good) ones, and the patient learns effective methods of coping with problems and emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy can take place during concurrent pharmacotherapy, but it is not necessary. It all depends on the level of addiction and the patient’s capabilities at a given stage of the therapeutic process. The fight against addiction mainly depends on the will and motivation of the addict.

The structure of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is clear and transparent. It is oriented toward a specific goal. At the beginning, the therapist sets the number of meetings and goals with the patient. Most often, this type of psychotherapy is short-term. However, it can also be combined with the Gestalt model. This is a humanistic school of therapeutic assistance, which aims to expand human consciousness.

What is the Gestalt model of psychotherapy based on?

According to the current of Gestalt therapy, the basic source of human problems is the needs unsatisfied in childhood (special role: love, acceptance, security and respect). In therapy based on this model, the concepts of figure, which emerges throughout our lives, homeostasis and energy blockage are important. Of great importance here is the cycle of self-regulation and experience according to Zinker (passing into each other: impression, awareness, energy mobilization, action, contact, saturation, withdrawal).

According to Gestalt psychology, various kinds of figures appear before us in the course of our lives. For example, it can be hunger when we watch a TV series, or the desire for love when we are lonely, or the loss of a loved one. Each time, a figure emerges from the background of our life (i.e., the various events that happen to us). According to Zinker’s model, for it to disappear it has to go through all the stages. From the impression (often subconscious) to the withdrawal of energy.

However, some people have something of an energetic gap between the stages of the cycle. Unfortunately, in such a situation, no work, relationship, but also being alone in one’s own company – does not bring full satisfaction.

Principles of Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy is about working with emotions. These, in turn, are considered crucial in understanding oneself, and the goal of therapy is to achieve maturity. In this stream, therapy is not afraid to experiment with the body and can take the form of psychodynamic therapy. During a session, the therapist may ask the patient to stand up, move, or touch something. Sometimes patients are given homework assignments, and although during the meeting all attention is directed to what is happening in the present, it is crucial to recognize what figures have not closed in the patient’s life so far.

Why go to psychotherapy?

In the rush of life, we easily forget ourselves, but those moments when we have forgotten ourselves do not let us forget ourselves. They often keep us stuck in the past and unexplained situations, in the snares of various addictions and dependencies, sometimes they prevent us from moving on and walking the path of our own dreams. Therapy under the guidance of a specialized psychotherapist helps us understand ourselves and the laws that have shaped us. It helps you get to the problems and gives you the tools to continue fighting any challenges.

The therapist is an emotionally independent person. His role is not to impose his own opinion or make judgments, to give advice. The therapist’s task is to help get to the root of a given problem and to point out possible paths that will help the patient not only to find a solution, but also to free himself from various mental and energetic blockages that do not allow him to realize his own goals, dreams, plans or are an obstacle in everyday life.

Psychotherapy Gdynia: you are not alone

Instead of struggling alone with your problems, opt for the help of a qualified therapist who will support you with knowledge and experience. He will listen and try to understand all that is difficult for you, a problem or a challenge. Anything you leave behind in the therapist’s office will not go beyond that office.

Through a therapy session, you will gain tools that will give you control over your life. They will restore a sense of responsibility for your life and most importantly, allow you to breathe fully and enjoy life to the fullest. You will get rid of energy blockages, perhaps take a difficult journey into the past, which will, however, result in a beautiful present and regain control of your life.

Let yourself have the extraordinary experience of a therapeutic conversation that will not only allow you to reach out to yourself, but will also give you the tools for the future so that you can overcome your own limitations with boldness, courage and acceptance.

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