Effective therapy involves more than mere talk and venting. True healing is achieved by finding the roots of our deep-seated ailments. In psychotherapy counseling, the therapist guides their client towards uninhibited emotional disclosure. Numerous studies have shown that emotional disclosure strengthens the immune system by increasing the levels of CD4 cells and natural killer cells and improves the health of individuals afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and other conditions.
In psychotherapy, also referred to as counseling, psychosocial therapy, therapy or talk therapy, a mental health professional assists a client with personal growth, behavioral issues, or mental health problems. Therapy involves treatment of emotional and mental disorders by talking about issues in an individual’s life with a psychologist, psychiatrist or other trained professional. Psychotherapists perform a holistic analysis of their clients’ situation and implement coping strategies. The psychotherapist observes a client’s behavior, emotions and thoughts until a pattern is identified. Upon recognition of their typical or repetitive behavioral responses, clients are then able to implement changes. Psychotherapy treatment may help patients with a number of issues.
Common Issues Include:
- Relationship issues
- Addiction and noxious habits
- Emotional problems
- Sexual problems
- Substance abuse
- Family conflicts
Psychotherapy Enables Patients To:
- Uncover the reasons for their condition so that they can better address it
- Identify and modify thoughts or behaviors that negatively impact their life
- Sharpen communication skills
- Learn more effective coping and problem-resolution skills
- Practice setting reasonable goals
- Explore experiences and relationships
- Increase their self-love and love for others
- Improve their self-confidence and self-esteem
- Heal old wounds
- Remove psychological blocks
Psychotherapy may be short-term or consist of numerous sessions over the course of several years. Prospective clients may choose between individual, group, couples or family sessions. Research has shown that psychotherapy coupled with medication provides greater benefit to patients than medication alone.
Benefits of Psychotherapy Include:
- A novel perspective on a complex problem
- Effectiveness in depression relapse prevention
- Greater affordability than anti-depressant medication in the short run
- Efficacy in treating mood disorders that is comparable to anti-depressant drug treatment
- Outperformance of mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar depression
- Longer-lasting results than medication
- Maintenance of a high level of psychosocial functioning
- Reduction of mental health symptoms, such as anger, depression, and desperation
- Long-range benefits for post-traumatic stress syndrome following trauma
- Alleviation of mental health symptoms
- Combating specific conditions such as depression
- Increased self-awareness and a better understanding of one’s values and goals
- Honing skills for improving relationships
In this intensive, long-term therapy, counselors help clients examine feelings, events, and memories from the past in order to shed light on present behaviors and emotions. Patients usually attend several weekly psychoanalytical sessions for extended periods of time.
In this form of treatment, the psychotherapist helps clients become cognizant of any unconscious influence that past experiences may have on their present lives by way of thoughts, emotions or behaviors. Some techniques employed in this typically brief treatment include analyzing actions and thoughts, confronting behavior and beliefs, resolving conflicts, and re-visiting the past. Clients are asked to put the new skills to work between sessions or make entries in a diary and are assigned homework exercises.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The emphasis CBT is on the modification of negative, unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors that affect physical and emotional well-being. This is often achieved through desensitization, also known as exposure therapy. Desensitization is a process in which clients confront the situations that trigger traumatic reactions, discomfort, fear or anxiety and learn to overcome their responses.
In cognitive therapy, patients are taught to identify and modify cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are considered habitual, faulty thinking patterns which give rise to behaviors and emotions that are unhelpful, unrealistic, self-destructive or self-defeating. To reduce the likelihood that symptoms will resurface, patients practice the skills learned in their everyday lives. This type of psychoanalytical treatment tends to focus more on the present and future than on past conflicts or issues.
CBT Has Proven a Successful Treatment of Several Mental Health Issues Including:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal behavior
- Anger management
- Stress management
Marital and Family Therapy
Marital psychotherapists assist couples in resolving their difficulties jointly. In family therapy, the objective is family functioning, and the sessions are attended by more than one family member at the same time.
Family Therapy is Useful in Several Situations Including:
- Problems with siblings or relatives
- Children acting out
- Parenting difficulties
- School problems
This short-term treatment method is effective in treating long-lasting anxiety and depression and is aimed at helping clients improve their communication and interpersonal skills, assertiveness, and emotional expressiveness. While it is usually administered one-on-one, it is also utilized in a group setting.
Psychotherapists often apply this treatment method when working with young children, in that it facilitates emotional expression on the part of the latter who are not cognitively-developed to express themselves verbally. Among the techniques deployed are painting and playing with toys or dolls.
This form of psychotherapy treatment is especially useful in treating individuals afflicted with a chronic and severe mental illness.
In creative art therapy, a psychotherapist helps clients communicate their thoughts and emotions through the vehicle of poetry, painting, drawing, drama, dance, music, and other creative arts. This type of psychotherapy enables patients to cope with trauma and symptoms, implement positive changes, and gain a better understanding of themselves.