What is psychotherapy and how it works
Psychotherapy: the main objective of psychological support is to help anyone who feels the need, whether they are children, adolescents, adults or the elderly, and can be individual or in couples
The type of path and approach indicated and used by professionals are different and depend on the type of question, the type of distress, and the objective of the individual asking for help.
Child and adolescent psychologist
The developmental psychologist deals with children and young people up to the age of 18.
He or she assesses and treats emotional and behavioural problems, difficulties encountered in relationships with peers and the school environment.
Depending on his or her training, he or she carries out assessments to identify and treat specific learning disorders; he or she can support and intervene in particularly stressful and/or traumatic situations, adopting specific strategies that facilitate the re-elaboration of events.
It also carries out important and fundamental work with families, who are almost always involved because they represent the first and main context of life for children and because it is precisely parents who are the first ‘therapists’ of their children.
Psychotherapy pathway: when does an adolescent need to see a psychologist?
Adolescence is a very delicate period for many boys and girls, who sometimes manifest sufferings that had not occurred before for many reasons or that, although they existed, had not aroused particular attention and/or concern.
Turning to a psychologist can be a valuable help in those cases in which the adolescent experiences suffering for a long time, or perhaps feels the need to talk about what makes him or her feel uncomfortable.
In general, teenagers may experience bouts of impulsivity, anxiety, risky acts and behaviour, but also ask important questions and go through difficult periods in search of answers about their identity and future.
How to tell parents that you want to see a psychologist
What you can do, is to explain to them that you feel the need to confront yourself with an experienced person outside the family, regarding yourself and your relationship with your world, friends, classmates and teachers, but also with your emotions and the way you react to what is happening.
It is very helpful to make this request in a quiet moment.
Of course, the reaction may change depending on the relationship one has with one’s parents and the parents themselves: sometimes the latter fear being judged or held responsible for emotional suffering in their children.
Psychological examination for elderly people
For older people, the figure of the psychologist can be extremely important, as this phase of life is often fraught with great changes: the interruption of work, new births, illnesses and bereavements that affect those living next to them.
These are moments that can bring stress and emotional destabilisation, and even have an impact on the balances that until then had guaranteed a certain kind of life.
The psychologist experienced in working with the elderly can also provide support to the family members of the person with dementia or cognitive impairment.
When should a couple consider psychotherapy?
A couple should consult a psychologist when there is a malaise that cannot be resolved and that may be on the side of one or both partners.
Usually the causes of malaise within the couple concern life changes due to both external and internal events.
External events affecting the couple’s equilibrium may be the birth of a child, an illness, the loss of a job; causes linked to factors defined as ‘internal’ refer to beliefs, values, and life habits learned in the family context to which they belonged, and re-proposed in the new nucleus without having shared them and ‘re-elaborated’ them together as a new couple and a new family.
The objective of couples therapy is to provide a space for listening, reflection and re-elaboration that aims to accompany towards a resolution.
With the help of a professional, new balances and new ways of dealing with problems within the couple can be sought.
It is important to emphasise that going on a couple’s journey does not necessarily mean finding a solution that involves continuing to be together.
For someone it could mean deciding for a separation having recognised the value of the time spent together and the importance of continuing each on their own path in another way.