Why it's needed
Psychotherapy can be vert helpful in treating most mental health problems, including:
- Anxiety disorders, such as phobias, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression
- Addictions such as drug or alcoholic dependence or compulsive gambling
- Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
- Personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder or anxious or dependent personality disorder
- Schizophrenia Psychotherapy or other such disorders that cause detachment from reality (psychotic disorders)
Not everyone who gets he’ll from psychotherapy is diagnosed with a mental illness.
Psychotherapy can also help you with a number of life’s stressful conditions and conflicts that can affect anyone.
For example, it can help you:
- Resolving conflicts with your partner or someone else in your life
- Relieving anxiety or stress due to work or other situations
- Coping with major life changes, such as divorce, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job
- Learning to manage unhealthy reactions, such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior
- Coming to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem, such as diabetes, cancer or long-term (chronic) illness
- Recovering from physical or sexual abuse or witnessing violence
- Coping with sexual problems, whether they’re happening due to a physical or psychological cause
• Sleeping better, if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
How to get started:
- Finding a therapist. Getting a referral from a doctor, health insurance plan, friend or other trusted source or through internet.
Before start seeing a psychotherapist, you must check his or her education, certification, and licensing.
Most have a master’s or bachelor’s degree with specific training in best psychological counseling.
Medical doctors who have specialized in mental health (psychiatrists) can prescribe medications as well as provide psychotherapy.
What you can expect at your first therapy session:
At the first psychotherapy session, the therapist usually gathers information about you and your needs.
Make sure you understand:
- What type of therapy will be used
- The goals of your treatment
- The length of each session
- How many therapy sessions you may need on a week or month
Don’t feel reluctant or hesitant to ask questions anytime during your appointment.
Types of psychotherapy
There are different effective types of psychotherapy.
Your therapist will consider your life situation and preferences to determine which approach may be best for you.
Some of the psychotherapies have been discussed below:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones
- Dialectical behavior therapy, a type of CBT that teaches behavioral skills to help you handle stress and manage your emotions and improve your relationships
- Acceptance and commitment therapy, which helps you become aware of the reality, and accept your thoughts and feelings and commit to making changes, increasing your ability to cope
- Psychodynamic and psychoanalysis therapies, which focus on increasing your awareness of your unconscious thoughts and behaviors, developing your motivations, and resolving conflicts
- Interpersonal psychotherapy, which aims on addressing problems with your current relationships with other people to improve your interpersonal skills — how you relate to others, such as family, friends and colleagues
- Supportive psychotherapy, which reinforces your ability to cope with stress and difficult situations
Psychotherapy is usually offered in different formats, including individual, couple, family or group therapy sessions and it can be effective for all age groups.
Your therapist wants you to talk about your thoughts, and feelings and what’s has been troubling you.
Over time, discussing your problems can help improve your mood, change the way you think and feel about yourself.
Except in specific circumstances, conversations with your therapist are confidential.
Length of psychotherapy
The number of psychotherapy sessions you need and how frequently you need to see your therapist, depends on such factors as:
- Your particular mental illness or situation
- Severity of your symptoms
- How quickly you make progress
- How much stress you’re experiencing
- How much your mental health concerns interfere with day-to-day life
- How much support you receive from family members and others
It may take only weeks to help you cope with a short-term situation. Or, treatment may last a year or longer if you have a long-term mental illness or other long-term concerns.
Psychotherapy may not be able to cure your condition at once or make an unpleasant situation go away suddenly.
But it can give you hope and a lot of power to cope in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and life.
Take steps to get the most out of your therapy and help make it a success.
- Make sure you always feel comfortable with your therapist. If you don’t, look for another therapist with whom you feel more at ease.
- Be open and honest. Success usually depends on willingness to share your thoughts, and experiences, and to consider new insights, ideas and ways of doing things.
- Stick to your treatment plan. If you feel down or lack of motivation, it may be tempting to skip psychotherapy sessions. Doing so can hinder or stop your progress.
- Don’t expect instant results. Working on emotional issues can be painful and may require hard work. You may need several sessions before you begin to see improvement.
- Do your homework between sessions. If your therapist asks you to document your thoughts in a journal or do other activities outside of your therapy sessions, follow through. These homework assignments can help you apply what you’ve learned in the therapy sessions to your life.
- If psychotherapy isn’t helping, talk to your therapist. If you don’t feel that you’re benefiting from therapy after several sessions, talk to your therapist about it.
Your therapist may decide to make some changes or try a different approach that may be more helpful.