We all experience times when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges and demands of life. When this happens, we naturally use our tried and tested coping mechanisms to deal with the situation. We may even try some new ways of dealing with things. Often, we will find something that works for us and life can return to a normal, balanced state. Sometimes, the demands are just too much and we need a little help.
Counselling consists of various conversational strategies and interventions design to activate our own natural coping resources or help us learn and implement new ones. Think of it like this: On your smartphone (I assume you have one!) there are many applications that help you keep in touch with the people around you and be productive. Over time, the apps become outdated and you need to update them. If you fail to update them long enough, they become buggy and don’t work as well. They may even stop working completely.
Just like we need to update our smartphone apps from time to time, we also need to update our internal programmes – our coping mechanisms. A coping strategy that was very effective in the past may longer be working. Counselling helps us to “update” these old programmes and find new and better ways of dealing with the high demands of life.
Sometimes, we need more than short-term counselling and support because the wounds of past may run deep. Therapy is (almost) the same as counselling, but uses specific strategies designed to address issues that interfere with our daily functioning and keep us from living normal, happy lives. There are many such strategies and most therapists use a combination of strategies instead of sticking to one.
EMDR (Eye-movement desensitization & reprocessing) is a therapy that was developed to help people process past trauma and resolve the negative impact of post-traumatic stress. This is generally a short-term intervention, but is reported to have long-term results. Therapists need to be specially trained to use this intervention.
Hypnotherapy is the use of our natural talent for imagination and focus to enhance our mind-body communication find internal resources and creativity to solve our problems. Hypnotherapy is widely supported in medical and psychological circles to be an approach strongly supported by research and can be used to address a wide range of issues, including physical conditions that have a psychological component. Always make sure your therapist is trained and certified.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is an approach to helping people think differently about their problems and the possible solutions. While it is used in business and educational settings, it also has strong therapeutic applications.