If you are looking for a strategic therapist or coach these are the five things you need to know
1. What are the benefits to me when I engage a strategic therapist?
The first very real benefit is that the therapy will be brief, targeted, and results-driven. A Strategic therapist will not spend hours going through your childhood, hurts, wounds, and traumas seeking to find links or explanations for why you are the way you are right now. The more story you get into, the longer therapy is going to take. Most forms of brief therapy focus on how you generate the problem in the present time. It will look at the nature of your decision-making, what you attend to, and the actions you habitually take.
The truth is the way you are now is a result of the patterns that you’ve developed over time through countless interactions with family, teachers, peers, employers, the community generally, and the media.
Realistically, the idea that a parent could utter a single phrase, or a single event could occur and this changes you immeasurably is not supported by the evidence. The linear causal model as it is known, has largely been debunked in the literature, but is still commonplace in therapy.
There is no doubt that terrible things can happen and affect you, but everyone responds differently to trauma and challenge. Some people manage it very well while others fall apart. What is the difference? The difference is your cognitive pattern. Your style of thinking that you have learned. If you lean towards pessimism you will be more prone to anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Optimism on the other hand is more likely to be more resilient because they do not amplify the problem with imagined negative consequences. A strategic therapist will look to change your pattern of thinking and behaving so that you are more resilient moving forward.
This can be done in a brief therapy context. This means you’re investing less time and energy in getting very solid results.
2. How long should my treatment take if I engage a brief therapist?
Depending on the model the number of sessions will vary depending on the presenting condition and the specific model of therapist you engage. A therapeutic model is considered brief if it is less than 20 sessions in a treatment plan.
Most strategic practitioners would rarely exceed the sessions under your were engaging in a coaching programme where supporting you over time is fundamental to the process. Models like Hypnotherapy would usually require no more than four or six sessions, and sometimes less than that.
At the end of the day, it really comes back to how long it takes to learn how to operate differently in the world. The good news is that the benefits of a relatively minor investment in time and money compared to maintaining the problem.
If you think about what it costs you to be a smoker in a year or to struggle with anxiety, alcohol, or a phobia. If you think of the compensatory behaviour you are likely to run, whether it’s retail therapy or some other costly activity, the upside of good therapy is obvious.
3. How do I know if my therapist is well trained, fully insured, and well supervised?
Membership to the International Strategic Psychotherapist Association is the first indicator that your therapist has the appropriate qualifications, supervision, and ongoing professional development.
ISPA requires its therapists to be on a certain educational standard, be supervised by experienced supervisors who have been trained specifically for that role, and commit to Continuous Professional Development so they keep up-to-date with the latest research methods and practices.
Each of the ISPA Colleges has a slightly different educational requirement. Some require a bare minimum of a government-accredited diploma, while others value industry experience. LEARN MORE
Then, within the Colleges, there are different levels of membership that reflect the therapist’s experience and their commitment to Continuous Professional Development.
The hourly rate for therapy varies enormously depending on your location, and the therapist’s individual fees. Some therapists will charge $150-$180 per hour, while other more experienced therapists are closer to $400 per hour.
Many will have some sort of package arrangement where you can pay for a series of sessions and receive some sort of discounted arrangement if you pay upfront.
Our suggestion is you do the first session to trial if this therapist is a good fit for you, and then at the end of the first session, you can decide if you want to continue and take the option of a package that suits your specific treatment needs.
Exactly what you specifically need should be established in the first session. By the end of the first session, your therapist should have a rough idea of how long you need to spend together. The length of treatment will vary on your openness to treatment, the type of therapeutic model, and the complexity of the condition itself.
What makes a condition complex? You might come to therapy or coaching because you are drinking too much and cannot seem to stop. So addiction is the presenting issue. However, during the interview, it becomes clear that you are running high levels of anxiety and are having trouble sleeping, which in part is why you are drinking so much. It is your way of winding down in the evening. Then on top of that, you feel bad about yourself because you just can’t seem to control the alcohol.
Now the problem is not just “help me stop drinking.” It’s going to take some time because now we have at least four targets. We have the addiction, the anxiety, the sleep issue, and the self-esteem. If we don’t tackle all of these conditions the your benefits will be temporary.
There’s a considerable difference between feeling better and doing better. Doing better means that you’ve developed new skills and capacities and can handle more pressure than you could prior to doing therapy.
5. How do I choose which type of strategic model?
This depends on what you are looking to achieve and your personal preferences.
People typically come to Strategic Coaching to pursue goals they would otherwise never achieve without the support of a coach. Sometimes the personal impediments to achievement will emerge and will have to be dealt with, but the focus of coaching is about achievement rather than dealing with issues.
Most coaching programmes span a 12-week timeframe.
Hypnotherapy is one of the briefest forms of therapy available. Because it is focused on the non-conscious process it requires less conscious discussion and deals with the issues where they exist, in the unconscious mind.
You would recognize that if you have a problem you invariably have an internal conflict. there’s a part of you that knows that you should do something, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. Or you know that you need to stop something, and for whatever reason, you can’t seem to stop. This is the conflict that makes it a problem.
This reflects the conflict between the conscious and unconscious mind. Hypnotherapy can integrate your conscious and unconscious minds affectively and quickly and is backed by a plethora of empirical evidence of its effectiveness. When you combine Clinical Hypnotherapy with Strategic Psychotherapy, you are absolutely cooking with gas.
c. Gordian Therapy
Gordian Therapy is a specific socio-cognitive approach focused on addressing the cognitive distortions a person runs in order to generate a problem. Distortions like over-analysis, constantly catastrophizing or negative thinking, all or nothing or dichotomous thinking, perfectionism, or a highly critical internal dialogue are the specific targets of Gordian Therapy.
According to a Gordian Approach, each condition you are likely to struggle with has a specific and predictable framework they will target. This approach is fast and effective because it does target the process of the condition, not the story behind it.
Gordian Therapy can be employed with many forms of psychotherapy, but most therapists combine the Gordian Approach with hypnotherapy. This combination is known as Strategic Hypnosis.
Our College of Psychotherapists covers many differing shades of psychotherapy and counselling. It is essentially talk therapy, and you will spend more time discussing the issue than you would with a trance-based therapy like Hypnotherapy.
Many people choose psychotherapy if they are not comfortable with the trance-based approaches, or want to spend a little more time in understanding their circumstances, or learning specific communication skills that require the ability to role-play something out or rehearse how they will tackle something with the therapist.