What Is Psychotherapy? | The Antidotes for Mental Illness
What is psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is a type of mental health care that helps people with their psychological problems. It’s also known as talk therapy or “talkie.” The goal of psychotherapy is to help you identify what thoughts are causing your distress, and then find new ways to think about them so they don’t cause any more stress. There are many different types of therapies out there, but the most well-known one is called cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT can be done in person, over the phone, or through email. It’s pretty simple: You just need someone who will listen to you and help guide you towards changing your thought process!
Benefits of Psychotherapy
People with a mental health condition can use psychotherapy to:
- Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
- Improve their relationships with family members, friends, or co-workers
- Decrease the number of times they experience a mental health episode There are also tons of psychotherapy apps out there that people can use to help them cope with stress. One example is MoodKit , which is designed for those who live with bipolar disorder.
Psychotherapy can be a great way to feel better and gain control over your life again!
The advantages of psychotherapy go beyond the emotional satisfaction that comes from resolving strong emotions like anxiety and depression; there’s also tangible evidence that psychotherapy can bring about physiological changes in the brain.
Types of Therapy
Therapeutic treatments may be provided in a number of modalities, including:
Individual: This technique is only carried out by the patient and the therapist. This is done in the therapist’s office, at school or work, or anywhere else where privacy can be assured.
Group: A group of people have a session together to discuss their issues with each other and learn from one another.
Family therapy: Involves all members of an individual’s family system who are involved in his/her life in a session.
Couples therapy: Involves the patient and his/her partner in a private or group setting to discuss their relationship and resolve conflicts within it.
Neuropsychotherapy: The patient works with a therapist trained in identifying which parts of the brain are not functioning properly so they can be treated with medication to improve symptoms.
Efficacy of different types of therapy in treating mental illness is being studied through scientific research. Although there are limitations to the studies, it has been shown that in general psychotherapy is effective in helping people deal with their problems when combined with medications and other therapies for conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Approaches to Therapy
Many types of mental illness can be treated through psychotherapy, including:
Depression: Psychotherapy has been shown to help people with depression deal with their symptoms and regain control over their lives.
Anxiety: Psychotherapy can be used to treat a range of anxiety disorders, including phobias, PTSD, panic disorder , social anxiety disorder
Schizophrenia: “Talking treatments,” such as psychodynamic therapy or family-based therapy , can help people with schizophrenia deal with negative symptoms such as lack of motivation and withdrawal.
Bipolar Disorder: Psychotherapy has been found to be effective in helping individuals learn how to manage the ups and downs that come along with bipolar disorder .
Psychosis: Talking therapies, such as CBT or brief psychodynamic therapy (which is similar to the psychodynamic therapy used with people suffering from schizophrenia), can help individuals who hear voices or experience hallucinations manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Borderline Personality Disorder: Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been found to be effective in treating this disorder, which is characterized by unstable moods, relationships, self-image, and behavior.
Eating Disorders: Psychotherapy can help people with eating disorders learn how to control their thoughts around food and manage the negative emotions that trigger them to engage in harmful behaviors like bingeing or purging.
Addiction: Many types of therapy are used for addiction treatment, including CBT , DBT , psychodynamic approaches , and more.
As you can see, psychotherapy is a very effective treatment for many types of mental illness . It’s typically used in conjunction with medications to treat conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder , but it also has been shown to be helpful on its own for less severe illnesses like depression and anxiety disorders. Therapy may take place between just the patient and the therapist, or it may involve other people in a person’s life such as family members.
Psychotherapy can help you:
- Understand the motives, feelings, and beliefs that give rise to your illness and how to alter them
- Gain a new perspective on your life and how to make the most of it
- Improve communication with others through conflict resolution skills
- Develop coping strategies for dealing with symptoms when they arise.
Types of Psychotherapy
Therapists may use a variety of methods to deliver therapy. Your therapist will choose the strategy to utilize after consulting with you about your condition.
A variety of therapy options are available, including:
Psychodynamic therapy: This form of therapy, which is based on Freud’s theories, helps people understand how past experiences shape current behaviors. It involves the therapist and patient discussing dreams to reveal unconscious conflicts that are affecting a person’s behavior.
Cognitive behavioral therapy ( CBT ): This approach focuses on helping patients recognize and change negative beliefs about themselves and others as well as behaviors that contribute to poor mental health.
Interpersonal therapy ( IPT ): This is a short-term form of psychotherapy used in the treatment of depression . It focuses on helping people understand how current events affect their mood and relationships with others.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Used for conditions such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and eating disorders, DBT is a modified form of CBT. It helps patients learn how to control their emotions using mindfulness techniques as well as develop better coping skills for dealing with stress or suicidal thoughts .
Behavioral therapy: This approach focuses on changing problematic behaviors by rewarding positive ones. For example, it might involve parents rewarding children for engaging in activities that don’t contribute to their symptoms of ADHD.
Medication: While some people might benefit from psychotherapy alone, many will need a combination of medication and therapy. This is especially true for those with more severe conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder .
Tips for Effective Psychotherapy
Active participation is required for effective treatment. It necessitates time, effort, and consistency.
Keep these guidelines in mind while you begin your therapy:
- Make every effort to keep all of your scheduled appointments. If you have to miss one, notify your therapist as soon as possible.
- Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your illness . Understanding the factors that contribute to it is key to managing symptoms in the future.
- Seek support from friends or family members who understand what you’re going through. Having a strong social network will help make therapy a more positive experience.
- Arrive on time and try to leave your phone at home so you can give the session your full attention. Try not to bring work or other distractions into sessions, as this will diminish their effectiveness.
- Include only those people who are supportive of your recovery in therapy . Discussing negative feelings with judgmental individuals may worsen your condition.
- Be an active participant in therapy . Ask questions and be open with the therapist about what you’re experiencing. If you feel like something is missing from treatment, discuss it with your therapist to determine next steps.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right , exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, managing stress levels , avoiding substance abuse, and practicing good hygiene .
- Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. Psychotherapy can take weeks or even months to produce positive outcomes. Make a commitment to yourself to stick with it for the long haul!
How to Choose a Therapist
It’s critical that you like and feel at ease with your therapist. After all, your therapist will be working with you closely to help you progress in treatment.
Here are some helpful questions to ask during an initial consultation:
- Can I call or email you outside of appointments if I’m experiencing a crisis? If not, where can I go for immediate care?
- What is your experience treating patients with my disorder?
- What is your approach to therapy ? How will it differ from other therapists I’ve seen in the past? Are you familiar with any particular techniques that have been helpful for my symptoms of [insert disorder]?
- How do we decide when and how long treatment should last, and what might happen if we don’t meet our goals?
- How much does treatment usually cost? Is there a low-cost program available if I’m unable to afford your services? Can you provide me with any documentation or proof of licensure upon request so that I can do my own background check on the provider’s credentials and qualifications as well as ensure they’re in good standing with their licensing board?
- Do you have a cancellation policy in place? If so, how many business days’ notice must I give before a session? How will my missed sessions be handled if the minimum number of visits isn’t met for insurance purposes ?
- Can I bring someone with me to an appointment?
- Do you have any upcoming openings available for new patients? Can I make a same-day appointment if I need immediate assistance ?
- What is your availability on the weekends, after work hours, or during lunchtime? Is there someone else on staff with whom I can speak if this time isn’t convenient for me to come in for an appointment?
- What are the potential risks, side effects , or long-term impact of medication ?
- How frequently do you typically meet with your own patients and how much time would we spend together each session if I choose to be treated by you? Please describe some situations where you felt it was important to refer a patient out.
What to Expect During Psychotherapy
The average therapy session lasts 45-50 minutes , though longer appointments are frequently scheduled for more complex cases.
- The therapist should give you an honest assessment of their expertise in treating your condition, as well as how much experience they have working with patients who are facing similar issues to yours.
- Your therapist should take a genuine interest in getting to know you , understanding where you’re coming from, and helping you feel safe in the therapeutic relationship.
- It’s important that your therapist provides a judgement-free zone where you can express yourself freely without fear of being judged, criticized , or ridiculed in any way.
Conclusion: Psychotherapy is a process by which patients are treated for mental illness or emotional problems. Patients may be seen one-on-one, in small groups , or within the context of family therapy . The average psychotherapeutic session lasts 45 to 50 minutes and typically includes an exploration of thoughts, feelings, memories , relationships with others, body awareness (such as pain), spirituality (or lack thereof) and self-concept. Psychotherapy can take weeks or even months to produce positive outcomes; make a commitment to yourself to stick it out for the long haul! You’ll want to find someone you like and feel at ease with who will work closely on your behalf during treatment–so ask questions about their experience treating patients with your disorder; what their approach to therapy is; what they think about medication and how it might differ from other providers you’ve worked with in the past. You may also want to ask for proof of licensure (or even your own background check on their qualifications) if you’re unable to afford treatment or don’t have insurance coverage–this information should be readily available upon request.