Working with me is about turning the question marks (?) into other punctuation marks. Like the exclamation marks (!), during your Eureka moment. The commas (,), when you move forward. The full stops (.) when you close a chapter. And get on with your life, charged by your own power. That’s how I answer my clients when they ask me “what is therapy?” And they love this answer.


what is therapy stages processes goals sessions

3 stages, 3 themes.

Know Yourself

  • You learn about the Why behind your present. The repeating patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that drive you, and that might trip you up.
  • I learn more about you, and what can support you.
  • We finish with a story that helps you understand why you are the way you are. Because our minds want to make sense of things.
  • Psychotherapy stage: Assessment (1-3 sessions)

Initiate Yourself

You’ve shown up for yourself even if you feel that the world’s given up on you. In mythology, Innana and Persephone descended to be reborn. They stepped into their own power. You can let your pain be a portal of metamorphosis. Write that permission slip. No blame about the past. Only you can give yourself the Gift of Possibility. Because you have a choice to take responsibility for what happens from now on.

  • We set goals. Not abstract goals like ‘being happy’. We make them real and reachable. Visualising them and shaping them in a way that directly impacts your life.
  • We envision the life you really desire.
  • We dig deep. To find how to create momentum and keep the fire burning.
  • We establish a contract of 6-20 sessions, for up to 6 months.
  • Psychotherapy stage: Goal-setting (0.5-1 session)

Love Yourself

  • Time to stop being driven by fear. Reshape your mind and your beliefs.
  • Learn to overcome. Experiment, do homework, build new habits.
  • Be present in the now.
  • Craft a life where you feel fulfilled and authentic.
  • A space to talk, be silent and reflect. To support you further.
  • Review your progress, discuss if we need fewer or more sessions.
  • End with a plan to deal with any situations you may be a little less confident about.
  • Psychotherapy stage: Treatment (6-20 sessions)

Of course, Knowing/Initiating/Loving Yourself happens across all three stages.

You’ll become your own expert by the end of therapy.  My ultimate goal for you is for you to be your own Therapist/ Guru/ Master/ Mistress/ (insert title-of-choice) who Acts Like You Are Worthy and knows that You Are Indeed Worthy.


I wrote this article to help you understand what is therapy, and how I really see it. This article is part of a series “What is Psychotherapy?” written and curated for you. Too many people have asked the same questions, and told me how not knowing stopped them from seeking professional help. I hope this helps you. And, do you have a question about what is psychotherapy? Leave a comment or Pop me a mail. PS I read every email. [Credit: Header]

Author Perpetua Neo

I’ve been helping people solve problems, reach goals and create change for the past 13 years. Along the way, I’ve moved across continents and picked up the credentials to specialise in mental health and wellbeing. And learned from Life what it means to be human- the laughter, tears and everything in-between. But really, I want to live in a world where people sleep peacefully at night, wake up looking forward to the day, and are kind to each other. In that world, we know that we’re worthy. And whatever life throws at us, we know can handle.

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