In a nutshell, Psychotherapy also known as talk therapy is a process used to treat psychological disorders and mental illness.
It involves talking to a mentally affected person using psychological techniques and it is offered by a Psychotherapist.
Through the personal interaction and application of psychological approaches, the therapist assists the patient in overcoming some of the mental illnesses like anxiety and stress.
Also, it’s a broad way of helping those with both mental and emotional troubles. The primary purpose is to help them function normally, even in situations that are not conducive to them.
Some of the challenges a psychotherapist may help with include;
- Emotional distress; for instance, helping someone cope with the loss of a family member and trauma.
- Medical diseases like cancer, AIDS, and any other illness that is hard to treat and make the patient hopeless hence affecting them emotionally or mentally.
- Some of the renowned mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
Learn More: Dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
What is the Difference Between Psychotherapy and Counseling?
To many, differentiating between a counselor and a psychotherapist has proven to be a challenging task. We get confused and sometimes use the words interchangeably without knowing.
The main idea behind counseling is to help an individual when faced with a current negative issue. The problems vary from drug addiction to personal issues that affect you negatively.
On the other hand, Psychotherapy tries to dig deep into your past life.
It seeks to find out what happened in the past that is interfering with your life today. Whenever they discover a cause, they come up with ways to solve the problem.
Unlike counseling, which takes place over weeks or several months, psychotherapy takes place from time to time and can take years for a patient to heal completely.
Common Types of Psychotherapy
There are several techniques and types used in Psychotherapy. Before a therapist begins to assist you, he/she first determines the type of Psychotherapy you resonate with. Some of the common types are;
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify harmful thoughts, dysfunctional emotions and behaviors.
Strategies are then laid to challenge and replace them with functional behaviors and positive thoughts.
It has numerous benefits and can be used on people of all ages from adults, adolescents and children.
2. Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
IPT is a form of psychotherapy used to treat people with depression. The main focus of IPT is to improve how one relates to other people.
Some of the problems that can be addressed with interpersonal therapy include;
- Interpersonal deficits e.g social isolation
- Unresolved grief like death of a loved one or someone close to you.
- Life transitions e.g retirement, moving to a new place and divorce
- Interpersonal disputes from close friends, family and coworkers.
3. Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy trains people to live in the moment, tolorate negative and manage intense emotions causing problems in one’s life.
DBT is used to treat people with bipolar disorder, depression, post traumatic stress and those of drug abuse.
4. Psycho dynamic therapy
Also known as psychoanalytic is an in-depth type of talk therapy focused on revealing the unconscious content of a person’s mind.
It is used to treat serious psychological problems such as addiction, social anxiety and eating disorders.
A group of theories and techniques founded by Sigmund Freud ment to treat mental disorders. The strategies focus at making those people who have become unconscious conscious.
6. Supportive therapy
Supportive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat a patient’s physiological self-esteem in order to become self-reliance.
It involves examination of patterns of emotional behavior of the patient and coming up with strategies to improve, restore self-esteem and patient’s skills.
Some of the techniques of Supportive Psychotherapy used to restore patients patterns behaviour include;
- advice and teaching
Learn More: Everything You Want to Know About Depression
Formats of Psychotherapy
When it comes to therapeutically approaches, psychotherapy can be categorized to over fifty groups. However, only a few of them are applicable, and if you draw narrow, only a few are effective.
1. Individual Psychotherapy
This is the standard type of therapy that many patients prefer. As the name hints, it only involves the therapist and the patient. The therapist must be friendly to the patient so that he/she opens up.
2. Marriage Psychotherapy
According to a study conducted by McKinley Irvin family law, there are at least 42% divorces in every marriage.
This number is quite alarming as it contributes to the many mental illnesses between couples.
Marriage Psychotherapy is an excellent help to many marriages.
It goes a long way than just avoiding mental illnesses but also keeps the family intact and happy for as long as possible.
3. Group Therapy
This type of therapy involves many people with different mental illnesses. They attend the same therapy session together.
Group therapy helps a great deal. In the process of sharing their experiences, fears and getting advice from the psychotherapist, their loads are slowly lifted away.
Benefits of Psychotherapy
The benefits of psychotherapy are countless. They do more than helping you with your mental illness.
Here are some examples of the benefits you will get if you attend psychotherapy sessions.
- Psychotherapy helps an individual talk out the most sensitive and personal issues making them free and be at peace.
- It scraps away a high percentage of depression and anxiety.
- There has been a significant and notable drop in the usage of drugs like alcohol and cigarette.
- Improves physical patterns like sleep. You won’t get any attacks of insomnia
- It helps an individual be more relaxed, hence enables them to perform their daily duties effectively and get optimum results.
- The end result is to bring someone back to their true self and give out the care they owe to the loved ones effectively.
A word from Healthtuition
When it comes to mental illness, any available treatment may be of help. However, Psychotherapy has proven to top all of them because of the numerous results patients obtain from it.
Do you know anyone with a mental illness? Or maybe it’s you? Don’t shy away from booking a session with a psychotherapist.
- American Psychological Association. (2020). Psychotherapy: An Overview. apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder. psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/sitewide/practice_guidelines/guidelines/mdd.pdf
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Psychotherapies. nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml
- Foa EB. (August, 2006). Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870013
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (October, 2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder: trauma-focused psychological treatments. nice.org.uk/guidance/ng116