What is Psychotherapy – And How Does it Work?

Is there a difference between Pyschotherapy and counselling?
March 8, 2017

Psychotherapy can treat a broad range of emotional difficulties and mental disorders by psychological means rather than medical. It allows you to look deeper into your problems and worries, and deal with troublesome habits and a wide range of mental disorders.

At the core of its success is the active involvement of both patient and therapist in building a trustful relationship. Working together is essential if a patient is effectively benefiting from psychotherapy.

It can be short-term (a few sessions), dealing with immediate issues, or long-term (months or years), dealing with longstanding and complex issues.

These days people are much more aware of their anxieties, fears, feelings and behaviour patterns and would want to do something about them. Unlike a generation ago there are now many more opportunities to give you the tools to control and work on these symptoms or illnesses through a range of therapies. Psychotherapy is perhaps the mostly widely used. It will teach you to understand your illness and make sense of past traumatic experiences. It will define and help you to reach your wellness goals, identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms and help you overcome your fears or insecurities.

There are several different types of psychotherapy:

• psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) psychotherapy – a psychoanalytic therapist will encourage you to say whatever is going through your mind. This will help you become aware of hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that may be contributing to your problems.

• cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a form of psychotherapy that examines how beliefs and thoughts are linked to behaviour and feelings. It teaches skills that retrain your behaviour and style of thinking to help you deal with stressful situations.

• cognitive analytical therapy (CAT) – uses methods from both psychodynamic psychotherapy and CBT to work out how your behaviour causes problems, and how to improve it through self-help and experimentation.

• interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) – looks at the way an illness can be triggered by events involving relationships with others, such as bereavements, disputes or relocation. It helps you cope with the feelings involved, as well as work out coping strategies.

• humanistic therapies – encourage you to think about yourself more positively and aim to improve your self-awareness.

• family and couple (systemic) therapy – therapy with other members of your family that aims to help you work out problems together.

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