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What does the psychotherapist do?

First, the therapist listens. He tries to understand the patient’s point of view. He offers support in a non-judgemental manner. Furthermore, he ensures a safe environment, where less pleasant topics can be confronted. In this context, discussing one’s insecurities and secrets can be particularly helpful. The therapist helps by focusing attention on relevant topics. Through the expression of the thoughts and feelings a safe space is created in which the patient can feel and put the “unknown” into words. Then, emotional and rational insights may start to grow, and an understanding and acceptance of who one is may arise. The therapist actively assists by offering non-binding hypotheses, so that the patient is stimulated in his evolution toward change (growth/ improvement/healing).

Some psychotherapists are very active: they ask questions and structure the session, they give homework and advise. Others are less active and leave the initiative to the patient to talk about the matters that keep him or her busy.

The therapist helps to stimulate psychological well-being, i.e. to discover alternatives and different capabilities and skills, taking the physical, relational and social restrictions, and possibilities, into consideration.

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