Jan Urban, M.Psych.
In my practice I mostly apply constructivist and social constructionist therapies because they are based on the latest philosophical and psychological knowledge. They handle client’s distress effectively and reliably using the client's personal resources and the human resilience. The therapeutic relationship with me is one of respectful collaboration, trust, safety, and activity.
Apart from the conversational therapy, I specialize in dissolving psychosomatic/chronic stress related conditions like insomnia or anxiety using autogenic training.
Technically speaking, counselling means advising. It involves two people working together to solve a problem. It is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of advice giving. In the context of mental health, "counselling" is generally used to denote a relatively brief intervention that is mostly focused on behaviour or decision making. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation, and offers suggestions and advice to deal with it. From my point of view, counselling can be very attractive a service as it offers relatively fast solutions and consequently relief. On the other hand, counselling could be short-sighted and become “addictive”. As a result of it, clients sometimes use the counsellor´s advice as a band aid instead of reaching appropriate self- and system-change. The process of self-exploration, self-understanding, learning and making the best of one´s capabilities is thus not experienced. A responsible psychologist/therapist will always try to explore your motives, desires, imaginations and beliefs behind your need for advice. In many cases, this process may lead to a far richer experience and to more versatile intervention.
Psychotherapy is a process in which a trained professional enters into relationship with a client in order to help the latter with difficult situations, behavioural problems, personal growth and many more. The client and the therapist sit in a room talking, which is why it is often called “talk therapy". It is conducted by professionals trained to practise psychotherapy such as psychologists, psychiatrists, trained counsellors or social workers. How do you choose a therapist? Psychotherapy can be time-consuming and expensive. You don't want to waste money and effort on a therapist who won't help you achieve results. Although the therapy relationship is not a friendship, you will still get the best results if you trust your therapist and feel comfortable with him or her. You should feel able to open up and be honest. If you withhold information, you cheat yourself out of making real progress. Just like in every relationship, you and your therapist might not "click". If this is the case, you owe it to yourself to look for another therapist. Keep in mind that psychotherapy can be long-term process, so don’t expect any instant solutions to your problems. Therapy is about equipping yourself with life-long solutions rather than a quick fix. During the first session, you will be asked what brings you to therapy as well as what you see and perceive as wrong in your life. You may discuss the length of the therapy, the methods to be employed and possibly much more.
Autogenic training is a profound and highly advanced relaxation strategy that is based on a strong psychophysiological theory of tension reduction and self-regulation. This training is a clinically well-recognised technique to improve stress and pain management, and to enhance self-regulatory mechanisms to counteract the effects of stress. It allows the mind and body to switch off the 'fight/flight/freeze' stress response, and instead promotes rest, recuperation and recovery. Autogenic means self-generating; you are, in effect, treating yourself. Autogenic training consists of six standard exercises that you will have to master. For each exercise, you get into a simple position (sitting in a comfortable chair or reclining), concentrate and use verbal cues to bring specific sensations into being. Those sensations nurture your autonomic nervous system and restore its balance. You learn each exercise being led by a professional, and then you practise it for a few minutes twice a day in your own environment (at home, at work, etc.). Once you master the technique, the results are outstanding and the learned technique becomes invaluable possession. Autogenic training is safe. Autogenic training significantly improves sleep quality, dissolves the tension in the body, reduces anxiety, teaches you how to switch from stress to relaxation, increases concentration and focus and gives you health and emotional balance.