People sometimes refer to this as “long term psychotherapy,” though I think that’s not an accurate description. The time required in therapy has more to do with what you want to get out of it. (See FAQ for more about this.)
What I mean by in-depth psychotherapy (sometimes called just “depth psychotherapy”) is developing a deeper understanding of who you are and why you do and don’t do the things in you life. Whatever it is that you are struggling with, there is some reason that you are struggling with it instead of just being able to manage it easily and smoothly. It is these obstacles that are our focus, so you can deal with them and move on in your life.
While this approach does place a high value on looking at the What in your life – what you do, think, feel – it also places an equally high value on the Why. It is the Why that gives the What meaning, and therefore we have a greater possibility of changing the What if we can understand the Why of it. Otherwise, the Why acts like a ghost in the room influencing what you do and don’t do, though it stays unseen. People sometimes refer to these Whys as the unconscious motivators and actors in our life. It is this inner world of meaning, the intersection between conscious and unconscious that is the focus of in-depth psychotherapy.
In a similar way, we look at both your present and past experience, because how you deal with things today is strongly influenced what happened before. If we can discover how those earlier experiences affect your thinking and feeling (and therefore your behaving) today, it is easier for you to make changes in what you do and how you do it from here on.
When All Your Best Efforts Haven’t Worked
Maybe It’s Time to Talk to a Professional