What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a common term for various treatment techniques that aims to help a person identify and rectify maladaptive emotions, thoughts, and behavior with adaptive ones. During this process, a trained psychotherapist helps the client tackle specific or general problems such as a particular mental illness or a source of life stress.
How is it different from simple talking?
Psychotherapy is carried out with the intention of decreasing the symptoms, helping the client in modifying the problem behavior, and promoting good relations in personal, social, and occupational domains. However, a friend can only lend a sympathetic ear and share your difficulties but they may not guide you to a solution. Working in a therapeutic alliance with a mental health professional, confidentiality is assured and the primary focus is only on you which may not be always the case while talking to a friend.
Psychotherapy is an evidence-based scientific method carried out by a trained mental health professional and is the first line of treatment for the majority of patients with common mental illnesses. A therapist is qualified to address major issues concerning mental health and have an objective perspective.
What are the types of psychotherapy?
Individualized Therapy– allows the therapist and client to focus on specific goals, build a strong rapport, and work together to solve the client’s issues. Various types of individualized therapy exist based on the approach being used
Cognitive behavioral therapy – is based on thought, emotion, and behavior cycles. Various offshoots of CBT are currently in practice
Mindfulness-based therapies – based on mindfulness, its application to the specific symptomatology and illnesses
Short-term psychodynamic therapy – tries to dwell on the unconscious conflicts, defense mechanisms, and childhood experiences
Acceptance commitment therapy – to accept and bring about changes in problematic areas.
Insight-oriented psychotherapy– focuses on a person gaining insight into the symptoms into dysfunctions caused by serious mental illnesses.
Group Therapy– involves a small group of individuals who usually share a common goal. This allows members of the group to offer and receive support from others, as well as practice new skills and behaviors within a supportive group. People can benefit from interacting with the therapist but also by interacting with others who are experiencing similar challenges.
Marital Therapy– With the therapist, couples can explore issues in their relationship, work on their communication, improve interactions, and resolve conflict. The couple gets the opportunity to improve how they function in a relationship.
Rehabilitative Therapy– This branch of psychotherapy focuses on working on the strengths of a person with mental illness and empowers them to function better in society. This approach uses various remedial and behavioral techniques to bring about the best possible outcome.