Psychotherapy and counseling are synonymous terms to describe a professional relationship between a trained clinician and client (the “client” may be an individual, couple, family, or group). The initial task of the therapist and client is to jointly decide how best to address the client’s presenting problem(s), what avenues of exploration to take, interventions to be used, and to prioritize the urgency of issues. Most therapies,
in some form or another, foster increased awareness or insight of the hidden and not so hidden parts of ourselves, including symptoms and defenses (the mechanisms that protect us from further pain). As we become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, actions, perceptions, and experiences, we tend to have greater acceptance, choice, and freedom in
life – all of which contribute to a potent sense of well-being. An analogy of how this works: Ideally, we want a varied menu at a restaurant because it gives us more choices. Similarly, if we have a longer internal menu of perceptions, experiences, and the like, we end up with greater choices in life.