The aim of psychotherapy is to help people gain insight into their difficulties or distress, establish a greater understanding of their motivation, and enable them to find more appropriate ways of coping or bring about changes in their thinking and behaviour. It involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history, in a structured way with someone trained to help you do it safely.
Every session is different because every client is different, as are their problems. Your psychotherapist will encourage you to talk and explore, in a structured way, your feelings and experiences. They may also suggest particular techniques as part of that exploration. Whatever the technique or clinical approach, psychotherapy is not a ‘cure’, it is a process to help you find the capacity for improvement within yourself.
There is a general understanding that a psychotherapist can work with a wider range of people than a counsellor and can offer more in-depth work where appropriate. Often the difference lies in the length and depth of training involved and in the quality of the relationship between the client and their therapist.