What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a type of treatment that can help individuals experiencing a wide array of mental health conditions and emotional challenges. Psychotherapy can help not only alleviate symptoms, but also, certain types of psychotherapies can help identify the psychological root causes of one’s condition so a person can function better and have enhanced emotional well-being and healing.
Conditions that can be helped by psychotherapy include coping with stressful life events, the impact of trauma, medical illness or loss such as the death of a loved one; and specific mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. There are several different types of psychotherapy and some types may work better with certain clinical situations. Psychotherapy may be used in combination with medication or other therapies.
Therapy may be conducted in an individual, family, couple, or group setting, and can help both children and adults. Sessions are typically held once a week for about 45 to 50 minutes. Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved in psychotherapy. The trust and relationship between a person and his/her therapist is important for working together effectively and making gains from psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy can be short-term (a few weeks to months), dealing with more immediate challenges, or long-term (months to years), dealing with longstanding and complex issues. The goals of treatment and duration and frequency of treatment are discussed by the patient and therapist together.
Confidentiality is a basic requirement of psychotherapy. Also, although patients share personal feelings and thoughts, intimate physical contact with a therapist is never appropriate, acceptable.