Counseling FAQs

There are many myths and missunderstandings about psychotherapy and about the process of counselling. In this section I am giving basic information about some common questions regarding the work of a psycholgost, counceling, psychotherapy.
But, please feel free to send me your questions: (pszichologia[at]kisgabipszichologus[dot]hu)

What is psychology?

Psychology is an academic and applied discipline, it is for the scientific study of mental functions and human behaviors. Psychology examines cognition, feelings, behaviour. It’s special fields are diverse (including developmental, personality, socio-psychology etc.); psychotherapy is among the applied branches of clinical psychology.

Is psychology and psychotherapy the same?

No. Psychotherapy is applied psychology, it is for curing mental disfunctions.

What is psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a special field of the medical sciences. It is for resarching and medically curing mental illnesses.

What is pastoral care?

It is a special helping relationship, in which a theologically educated person guides and supports individuals, families, communities in everyday life and in exsistential and spiritual questions.

Is psychotherapy and pastoral care the same?

No. They differ mainly in the goal and way of helping.

What is the difference between counseling and psychotherapy?

In counseling the goal is to help you solve your actual problem, to get further in your life. Psychotherapy aims at a deeper change in behavior, feelings, thoughts, in character. There is also difference in time, in methods between the two.

What happens in a Counselling session?

There is no such thing as typical counselling session. The session is time set aside for you. You talk about yourself, your issue, mostly about things related to your core problem. I, the psychologist/counselor will provide a safe environment in which you can explore your issues, will ask you questions to clarify and see things from different angles, will help you to find your own solutions, goals and ways of change.
In therapy: generally speaking you are free to discuss what you wish, from events, everyday problems, thoughts, desires, feelings, memories, dilemmas, family etc. I will listen more and ask less, but give you possible contexts and meanings of what you are saying.

What issues can Counseling help with?

Counseling can be helpful for a wide-range of problems including stressful life events, problems in the work, relationship issues (divorce, affairs, break-up, loneliness, marriage problems, jealousy), child rearing questions, trauma (accidents, rape and other attacks/incidents), negative body image, low-confidence, bereavement.

When shall I seek therapy?

You probably would benefit more from therapy if the same problems are recurring often in your life, if you have been struggling with a difficulty for a longer time with no success, if you are really interested in your inner world.

How long should I expect to have to continue Counseling/Therapy?

The number of sessions depends on your unique actual issue. A first consultation will enable me to see if counseling is indicated. In many cases 5 counseling sessions can bring results.

Short term dynamic psychotherapy can last for 15-30 sessions. (More on that see „Services”). Psychodynamic therapy tends to be longer term and may last for many months or even years.

Is counseling and therapy all confidential?

The whole process is confidential in counseling and in psychotherapy as well. With the sole exception: if you pose a danger to yourself or others, then the relevant parties need to be notified

Why is weekly attendance so important?

Because regularity is the key factor for productive counseling and therapeutic work. It enables a gradual but steady progress.

Why do I have to pay for cancelled or missed sessions?

Because I reserve the same hour at the same time for you each week. If you miss or cancel a session that hour and time is still yours, I will not and cannot give it to another client. Any missed or cancelled sessions will be charged at the full fee. This applies to holidays, work commitments, illness and other emergencies as well. But it is also to your best interest to come every time.

Can I refer someone for Counselling?

In case you know someone who would need counseling, it is most helpful if the individual in question makes the contact him/herself. It is an important step in acknowledging that they might need help.

How do I know if I need Counselling or Psychotherapy? (Which one do I need?)

If you need help just in a dilemma, or you feel you are in crisis because of a life-changing event, or you would like to see more clearly, would like to talk through your problems with an ’outsider’, with an expert, you may turn to a psychologist for counseling.
If you are wondering why you haven’t been feeling o.k. for a long time, something has changed in you; if you are desperate and feel there is no hope for you because the same thing is happenning to you over and over again; if you would like to understand yourself and others more, you might need psychotherapy.
It can also happen that after a good counseling process you get to the conclusion: now you are ready for a therapy, to make a deeper understanding of your life.