Anna Assef-Vaziri dipl. psych., Psychologist specialising in psychotherapy fsp in tcc- Psychotherapist sstcc - Lausanne




After an evaluation of the request made at the first session, it will then be necessary for me to get to know the person in order to understand the significance of the problem in their life, but also the scale of the problem, the direct and indirect effects and reinforcement, the impact on their overall functioning, also on others, the presence of other problems, their motivation and desire for change, as well as their own understanding of the difficulties. The resources will also be evaluated.

This first contact also serves to give me an idea of their psychological (diagnostic) functioning, which will crucially determine my level of intervention and the means to this end.

Sometimes, a specific, targeted request hides an underlying, downplayed or minimised problem. Intervening in a targeted way may be both contraindicated and also inadmissible, from the ethical point of view, and I would then be unable to comply with this request. The reasons would be clearly expressed in this case.

Hence, the same problem presented by different people may justify very different interventions.

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For example, a sense of failure: it may merely correspond with a phase of despondency, whereby a few coaching-type sessions will suffice, just as it may concern cognitive distortion requiring conventional CBT work of short duration (from a few sessions to a few months). But it may also be based on a pattern of mistrust acquired during childhood, which will require in-depth work over a long period, sometimes even over several years in the event of massive crystallisation. Finally, it may concern a delusional disorder of failure and guilt requiring the care of a psychiatrist and medication.

If things seem clear for a request for coaching, the work can begin quickly after a relatively brief overview of its history. If a very targeted therapy is indicated, it will be the same. On the other hand, if it is a matter of therapy to achieve a certain result, I will then take several sessions to obtain as much information as possible. The more complex the history, the more the information is amplified as and when there is growing awareness throughout the therapeutic process.

In terms of coaching, the frequency and duration of sessions depend on the problem being resolved. An average of six to twelve sessions over six months, with a duration of one hour or one and a half hours, and even two in some cases.

In terms of therapy, most effective is a one-hour session at a set time preferably once a week, but one session every two weeks may be possible, especially for financial reasons, if the disorder is not too pervasive.

In terms of intervention in businesses and institutions, the request and number of persons involved will determine the duration of intervention, which is generally half a day.