Psychotherapy can be very useful in managing a variety of issues. If you, or someone you know, are suffering from, for example, panic attacksdepression, anxiety, addictions, low self esteem, feeling homesick, you could benefit from trying therapy. You don’t necessarily need to show any symptoms to think about testing the benefits of therapy: you could simply be interested in finding more about yourself!
This kind of therapy isn’t solely focused on the client’s individual, psychological and behavioral traits, but takes into account how they intertwine with his/her personal relationships, self-evaluation skills and the unique subjective experience that comes with it. The symptoms that a person manifests, in addition to how they express their subjective discomfort, gain further meaning if seen as parts of the complex relational systems in which we all live in: above all family, being the first social environment in which we experience roles and jobs, and which goes through phases of crucial development and transformation, called “life cycle”. Sometimes, a single family member finds himself/herself shouldering all the weight of the emotional tension caused by the crumbling of the entire system, focusing all the attention on him/her and so allowing the other members to avoid directly facing their own issues and difficulties. The Systemic-Relational approach uses many techniques when dealing with individuals, couples and families, working on four main levels of observation:
  • The family transgenerational history (grandparents – parents – children)
  • The present family relational and communicative organization.
  • The role of the individual symptom inside the family system.
  • The phase of the family life cycle in which the symptom takes place.
A Psychologist is someone who earns a degree in Psychology from a University and, after a year-long internship in the Public or private healthcare system, earns admission to the Psychologists’ bar. A psychologist can offer psychological support, administer tests, elaborate a diagnosis, but cannot work on the psychological issues that have potentially surfaced during sessions. A Psychotherapist is a professional who has undergone a much longer training than a psychologist and so their work is effectively a deeper version of a psychologist’s counseling and can examine and work with the client on symptoms and their causes. Neither psychologists nor psychotherapists can prescribe psychopharmacological drugs.
Differing from the description of a Psychotherapist/Psychologist listed above, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor specialising in mental health. Psychiatric treatment usually includes a specific diagnosis and a pharmaceutical prescription. Psychotherapists and psychiatrists can work together in order to offer the patient both psychological and pharmacological support.
There is no predetermined number of sessions for psychotherapy to work, it will depend on what we, as client and therapist, aim to achieve. You may start feeling better after a few sessions, however there will surely be ups and downs as we work on sensitive and delicate issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a safe and trusting relationship where you can feel free to express your fears, doubts, anger and rely on the therapist.

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