Psychotherapy

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing.
Problems helped by psychotherapy include difficulties in coping with daily life; the impact of trauma, medical illness or loss, like the death of a loved one; and specific mental disorders, like depression or anxiety.

Therapy Sessions

Therapy may be conducted in an individual, family, couple, or group setting, and can help teenagers and adults. Sessions are typically held once a week for about 45 minutes. Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved in psychotherapy. The trust and relationship between a person and his/her therapist are essential to working together effectively and benefiting from psychotherapy.

The goals of treatment and arrangements for how often and how long to meet are planned jointly by the patient and therapist.

Confidentiality is a basic requirement of psychotherapy.

Does Psychotherapy Work?

Research shows that most people who receive psychotherapy experience symptom relief and are better able to function in their lives. About 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy show some benefit from it. 1 Psychotherapy has been shown to improve emotions and behaviors and to be linked with positive changes in the brain and body. The benefits also include fewer sick days, less disability, fewer medical problems, and increased work satisfaction.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people identify and change thinking and behavior patterns that are harmful or ineffective, replacing them with more accurate thoughts and functional behaviors. It can help a person focus on current problems and how to solve them. It often involves practicing new skills in the “real world.”

CBT can be helpful in treating a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, and eating disorders. For example, CBT can help a person with depression recognize and change negative thought patterns or behaviors that are contributing to the depression.