When we think of psychotherapy, we often imagine patients sitting on a comfy couch describing their life issues to the therapist who is jotting them down on their yellow notepad.
Psychotherapy, in simple words, is talk therapy, allowing one to talk openly with someone (a professional) who is objective, neutral and free of judgement. Through psychotherapy, psychologists help people of all ages live healthier and more productive lifestyles. A patient and their therapist work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that keep one from feeling their best.
It is a collaborative treatment and hence requires the active involvement of the patient and therapist. Therapy sessions cut no ice if there is no active involvement. Starting therapy can feel like breaking ground, but psychotherapy has assisted many in overcoming mental illnesses and emotional difficulties.
Wondering about the duration?
Therapy can be short-term or long-term. Short-term therapy usually lasts up to 3 to 5 months and tends to focus on specific challenges that cause the patient the most significant adversity. In contrast, long-term therapy treatments deal with long-standing and complex problems. Long-term psychotherapy options include psychoanalysis, psychodynamics or rehabilitative psychotherapy.
What are some types of psychotherapy?
There are a variety of approaches and procedures used in psychotherapy. The kind of treatment used in psychotherapy depends upon factors like the psychologist's theoretical
exposure, the patient's current psychological condition and what works best for them.
CBT- Cognitive behavioral therapy has a more practical approach to treatment. It helps individuals recognize and transform thinking and behavior patterns that are damaging or ineffective, replacing them with more accurate thoughts and functional behaviors. It relies on recognizing distress and gradually exposing the patient to triggering stimuli to build up their tolerance to them. CBT treats various mental health issues, including phobias, depression, anxiety and addiction.
Psychoanalysis Therapy- This is one of the more intense forms of therapy and can take up to 3-5 sessions per week. This technique in psychotherapy attempts to understand a patient's psyche and help them adapt their reactions and defense mechanisms to more healthy ones.
IPT- Interpersonal therapy is a short-term treatment option focused on treating depression. This type of therapy has shown to be effective in treating child and adolescent depression. During IPT, the therapist focuses on identifiable problems in how an individual interacts with or does not interact with others. Once the patient understands underlying, troublesome interpersonal issues, like unresolved grief, shifts in social or work roles, conflicts with significant others, and problems relating to others. It can help people learn beneficial ways to express emotions and ways to improve communication and how they relate to others.
Rehabilitative Therapy- This one focuses on the mind and its connection with the body. This therapy helps provide mental health support to individuals who have sometimes undergone severe trauma or disruption in well-being due to illness or injury. Rehabilitative therapy often deals with how patients' ideas of self-worth, societal role, body image and other aspects of their lives have changed due to an event or ongoing situation.
Should one talk to a friend or a psychotherapist?
Friends can willingly listen and are even able to advise on our life problems, but qualified and duly licensed psychotherapists are professionals trained in understanding psychological problems. Thus these individuals receive specialized education in the field even before training.
Friendships are customarily mutual relationships in which people take turns helping each other, whereas psychotherapy is solely devoted to the patient's welfare. Psychotherapy entirely focuses on the patient's needs for symptom relief, problem solutions and lifestyle changes.
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https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy#:~:text=Psychotherapy%2 C%20or%20talk%20therapy%2C%20is,increase%20well%2Dbeing%20and%20h ealing.