Most people consider therapy at least once during their lifetime; however, the idea of therapy can seem overwhelming and pointless to others. There are many types of therapies, and it can be hard to understand their purpose and benefit. Whether you need help recovering after an accident or just need someone to talk to, psychotherapy could be the option for you.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a fancy word for therapy with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional. The main purpose of psychotherapy is to discuss life and mental health issues with a mental health provider. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy. As the name might suggest, talk therapy is a way for patients to talk through the reasoning of their therapy visit.
If you want to learn more about what psychotherapy is, consider reading medically-reviewed articles from BetterHelp!
Different Types of Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach to psychotherapy that allows therapists to assist patients in understanding their behaviors. In addition to understanding their behaviors, therapists help patients change their thinking into more constructive habits. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on a person’s state of mind and outward behaviors. It also introduces techniques that patients can use in real-time; these techniques allow them to recognize and change their behaviors at that moment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is mostly used with those who experience personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on your personal relationships and the issues that may arise in your relationships. For example, a therapist may implement interpersonal therapy if a client is experiencing communication blocks with their spouse. People who need help understanding and connecting to their coworkers can also benefit from interpersonal therapy. With the interpersonal approach to psychotherapy, you can practice empathy and responsibility.
Psychodynamic therapy is the approach to psychotherapy that focuses on specific events and things in your life that affect your wellbeing. In other words, it focuses on the root of the problem. Psychodynamic therapy enables a patient to fully discover the why of their thoughts and actions. With this approach to therapy, you can learn more about yourself and why you act the way you do. Psychodynamic therapy also allows you to overcome your past events, relationships, and trauma. With a therapist, you can focus on moving forward and implementing healthy choices.
Humanistic therapy focuses solely on a person’s nature and true self, rather than their past or relationships. For example, this therapy approaches your concerns with positivity and enlightenment. A therapist may question your thoughts and feelings in the present moment rather than in the past. Using humanistic therapy, you can understand your basic needs and desires. One of the main goals of humanistic therapy is to help the patient embrace themselves and their instincts. By embracing your positive instinct, you can overcome your mental health concerns.
Who Needs Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is there for those who live with mental health disorders or concerns. There is a wide range of patients that participate in psychotherapy. For example, a young girl that has experienced heartache may attend therapy to move past her insecurity. On the other hand, a middle-aged man may be obligated by the state to attend psychotherapy because of violent crimes. It is safe to say that psychotherapy can be utilized by everyone from all walks of life. Each session is catered to the person and their mental health concerns. It certainly is not a regurgitated monologue, rather psychotherapy is unique to the person.
Some of the most common mental health concerns that are addressed with psychotherapy are anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, personality disorders (such as psychopathy and sociopathy), eating disorders, and trauma recovery. Anyone that has experienced any of the above mental health disorders may need psychotherapy to overcome their symptoms.
However, you do not have to live with a mental health disorder to attend psychotherapy. In fact, psychotherapy is for anyone that may need a listening ear and a helping hand. Mayo Clinic offers a list of individuals that could benefit from psychotherapy in the following situations:
- resolving conflicts
- relieving anxiety and stress
- coping with major life changes
- managing unhealthy reactions
- coming to terms with a serious physical health problem
- recovering from physical or sexual abuse
- witnessing violence
- coping with sexual problems
- combating sleeping problems
What Are the Benefits of Psychotherapy?
There are many benefits of psychotherapy. For one, talk therapy can improve the symptoms of mental health disorders and concerns. When a patient attends these therapy sessions, they are able to understand the root of their concerns. Learning the source of their troubles enables them to implement healthy living and overcome any mental health problems. Those who live with anxiety and depression can especially benefit from psychotherapy in this way.
Another way that psychotherapy benefits its patients is through its decrease in psychiatric hospitalization rates. According to Positive Psychology, “A growing body of evidence indicates that psychotherapy decreases the use of psychiatric hospitalization and reduces the use of other medical and surgical services. Successful integration of psychotherapy into primary care may reduce medical costs by 20-30%.”
Not only can psychotherapy decrease hospital rates, but it can also make medication more effective! The therapy itself does not dictate the potency of medication; however, the combination of medicine and psychotherapy has a better chance of working than just medicine alone.
Psychotherapy also offers the benefit of support. There are many instances in life when we feel like we have no one to turn to. Talk therapy shows you the support that you may be missing in your life. A therapist is there to listen, not judge, and offer professional advice.
Also, talk therapy can help you create a better support system with others. For example, family therapy and marriage counseling focus on the relationships within your household. Psychotherapy can help you communicate with one another. It can also teach you exercises to do as a family or couple that can ultimately bring you closer together.
If you or a loved one are looking into psychotherapy, consider the many benefits that come with it. Psychotherapy is available to all people, no matter the concern.