Why Psychotherapy?

Because it works!

  • The aim of therapy is to make living our life easier. It is about working with someone to get to know yourself better, and ultimately make changes to patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving.
  • Psychotherapy provides a safe non-judgemental space in which to work on your self with the help of a qualified, empathic, nurturing and skilled person.

“In particular, the research indicates that body-focused psychotherapy is effective for a range of issues (Bloch-Atefi & Smith, 2014) including where talking therapies are unable to effectively treat the condition (Gordon et al., 2008; Röhricht, 2009).” (Thomas, 2018, p. 8 – see below).

Further research and writings:

The quote above and paragraphs below are from a March 2018 article called “The future of Better Access and Medicare numbers for counsellors and psychotherapists.” by Matthew Thomas, PACFA Campaigns Coordinator printed in the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia eNewsletter March 2018:

Focussed Psychological Strategies are too narrow
Focussed Psychological Strategies (as defined by mental health Care plans under Medicare – ed.) are limited to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), skills training, psycho-education and relaxation strategies under the Health Insurance (Allied Health Services) Determination 2014. While these interventions can certainly be beneficial for clients, the narrow focus on these interventions, and particularly on CBT and IPT, is flawed. A Cochrane review found that there is evidence that CBT is not effective for all client groups (Hunot, Churchill, Teixeira & Silva de Lima, 2007). In particular, CBT can be ineffective for people with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (Gordon et al., 2008; Röhricht, 2009) and older people are more likely to drop out of CBT than other age groups (Hunot et al, 2007).

Secondly, the restrictions on interventions also ignore the substantial evidence that other interventions are effective for a wide range of mental health issues. In particular, the research indicates that body-focused psychotherapy is effective for a range of issues (Bloch-Atefi & Smith, 2014) including where talking therapies are unable to effectively treat the condition (Gordon et al., 2008; Röhricht, 2009). There is also substantial evidence that counselling is an effective treatment for PTSD (Schottenbauer et al., 2006; Sherman, 1998). Lastly, recent systematic reviews have shown that couples counselling and family therapy can be more effective than individual treatment for treating substance abuse (O’Farrell & Clements, 2011; Ruff et al., 2010).

Confining clinical treatments limits the opportunity clients have to access treatments that are effective for their particular presenting issues and preferences. There are a number of interventions with a proven clinical effectiveness that should be incorporated. PACFA has provided Government with research evidence for the effectiveness of solution-focused Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Supportive Counselling, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Couples counselling & Humanistic-experiential therapies are added to the list of permitted treatments. These interventions are supported by PACFA’s literature reviews on depression (Knauss & Schofield, 2009a), anxiety (Knauss & Schofield, 2009c), psychodynamic psychotherapy (Gaskin, 2012) and experiential psychotherapy (Mullings, 2017) and by the findings of an APS literature review (APS, 2010).”


References
Bloch-Atefi, A. and Smith, J.(2014), The effectiveness of body-oriented psychotherapy: A review of the literature. Melbourne: PACFA.

Gaskin, C. (2012), The Effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy: A systematic review of recent international and Australian research. Melbourne: PACFA.

Gordon, J. S., Staples, J. K., Blyta, A., Bytyqi, M., & Wilson, A. T. (2008).
Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in postwar Kosovar adolescents using mind-body skills groups: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69(9), 1469-1476.

Hunot, V., Churchill, R., Teixeira, V. & Silva de Lima, M. (2007). Psychological therapies for generalised anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1. Retrieved from http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001848.html.

Knauss, C. & Schofield, M.J. (2009a). A resource for counsellors and psychotherapists working with clients suffering from depression. Melbourne: PACFA.

Knauss, C., & Schofield, M.J. (2009c). A Resource for Counsellors and Psychotherapists Working with Clients Suffering from Anxiety. Melbourne: PACFA.

Mullings, B. (2017). A Literature review of the evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies. Melbourne: PACFA.

Röhricht, F. (2009). Body-oriented psychotherapy. The state of the art in empirical research and evidence-based practice: A clinical perspective. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 4(2), 135-156.

Sherman, J. J. (1998). Effects of psychotherapeutic treatments for PTSD: A meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 11, 413-435.

Schottenbauer, M. A., Arnkoff, D. B., Glass, C. R., & Gray (2006). Psychotherapy for PTSD in the community: Reported prototypical treatments. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 13, 108-122.


There is plenty of writing and research supporting the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy and body focused psychotherapy. If you have further questions, or would like some more information, do not hesitate to contact me.

Some of the names to look up include Janina Fisher, Pat Ogden, Steven Porges, Bessel van der Kolk, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore, Peter Levine, Daniel Stern, to name a few.

Karen.