The wider conversation that surrounds mental health is slowly becoming louder and more positive, leading more people to incorporate therapy into their lives. If you are new to it, however, you may wonder: ‘What does it involve?’
Top Doctors speaks to leading chartered psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Nicky Kimber-Rogal about what you might come across, especially if you’re looking for assistance regarding workplace issues, couple counselling or mental health services for young people.
Her professional observations of the issues she addresses, techniques and the overall aims of therapy - and how they fit into her everyday practice, are expertly detailed in this informative article.
What are key issues in therapy?
My clinical experience with therapy clients suggests that people are suffering from loneliness (regardless of whether they live alone, are in partnerships and families or not); difficulties in finding partners and problems with dating apps if they attempt to find partners through this means. They are also concerned with body image and perfectionism - perfectionism not only in relation to physical appearance but also in other areas of life.
In addition, bullying and, in some companies, sexism at work appears to be paid only lip service to and clients feel that they have no recourse or redress through HR or other means. Mental health at work is also still stigmatised - regardless of company policies - and this is particularly apparent in large corporates.
What are techniques for marital and couple counselling?
In terms of my work with couples, I use a cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) -based approach which is generally very helpful. This allows couples to see how the patterns and roles they have assimilated since childhood are being played out - often to the detriment - of the relationship. The idea of mutual self-disclosure is fundamental to good relationships and this can only be achieved once the first step of knowing one's own roles and coping strategies is recognised. Trust and vulnerability in relation to one’s partner are also central to healthy relationships.
How are young people affected by mental health?
I also work with young people - some in their early twenties - who have come from relatively high-pressured environments and are starting work in new companies. They are somewhat institutionalised - often coming from private education, straight into university and then onto graduate training schemes. The process of individuation is part of the therapeutic process.
What is the aim of therapy?
In summary, all clients need encouragement to be confident, to access the full range of human emotions, and learn how to recognise, articulate and manifest these to live a meaningful life.
Therapy is efficient when there are positive answers to the questions:
- “Does it lead you to feel hopeful?”
- “Is it meaningful?”
- “Is it useful?”
Considering therapy with an effective, expert specialist? Find out more about Dr Kimber-Rogal’s psychology and psychotherapy services by visiting her Top Doctors profile.