As humans, our early-life experiences, challenges, or traumas and, sometimes, experiences of adulthood result in a variety of coping responses, some of them effective and contributing to psychological wellbeing and adaptive lifestyles in individuals. However, due to these experiences, some individuals develop reactionary attitudes, behaviour patterns and emotions that result in psychological challenges which need to be “unpacked” and unravelled within the context of a therapeutic environment.
These challenges affect one’s intrapersonal emotional security as well as one’s interactive character or performance in social, academic, or work settings, rendering their functioning less effective. At times, psychological challenges are related to or compounded by natural or biological factors – attention deficits and other neurodevelopmental disorders, chemical depression or bipolar episodes, schizophrenia, and the like – but often they are social responses to emotional discomfort – obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, anxiety, or phobias, for instance. They often manifest as inappropriate social responses or sabotaging emotional patterns of interaction, rendering reduced productivity in the academic or workplace and giving rise to conflictual situations in the family or social context.
The origin of the word “therapy” is relatively modern, meaning “medical treatment of disease,” from Modern Latin (1846) therapia, and from Greek therapeia “, curing, healing, or from therapeuein “to cure, treat medically,” – literally “attend, do service, take care of”. Coincidentally, also in the mid-1800’s, Josef Breuer (1842-1925) became regarded as the true father of modern psychotherapy. Whilst disciplines such as medicine and physiotherapy deal with biological traumas, psychotherapy works on the less tangible cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial aspects of human wellbeing and healing. As such, psychotherapy is often a lengthy collaboration between therapist and client. It takes a huge leap of faith for individuals with psychological challenges to overcome the stigma of psychological counselling, the automatic connotation being a significant scepticism associated with psychotherapy’s success – this arising from the perception that it cannot be a “quick fix’.
As Ntsika Psychologists, we work to overcome resistant perceptions to psychotherapy, to institute intimate developmental relationships with clients in terms of individual, family, group, couples and marital therapy. In addition, the practice focuses on study and career development, psychological evaluation, and psycho- and medico-legal work. We work in an entirely non-discriminatory manner but with utmost respect for the cultural, community, group and personal dignity and honour of our clientele.
“We prefer to view clients as positioned on a wellness continuum, with our role being to move them towards better degrees of wellbeing rather than use terminology like “sickness”, “illness” or “disorder” ~ Ace Chiheya.