Each year, millions of people seek the medical care of a chiropractor for pain relief, as well as a number of other conditions. If you have never been treated by a chiropractor, you may have a lot of questions, including how to find the right healthcare professional for you.  Because there are so many different techniques, you will want to make sure you choose a chiropractor that you not only trust, but one that also matches up with your healthcare needs.

To begin with, chiropractic is a profession with a wide variety of practice philosophies and techniques, which makes it a challenge to select a chiropractor who is most compatible for an individual. Because the chiropractic treatment includes hands-on procedures, such considerations must be given for both the preference of treatment style as well as the rapport with the chiropractor. Chiropractors, in addition, can treat a variety of different medical conditions by aligning the spine through a number of manipulations. These conditions, for instance, include back pain, herniated discs, migraine headaches, and much more. Several techniques used to provide chiropractic care include hands-only manipulations, as well as others that use adjustment tools. When it comes to providing treatment, chiropractors generally have the same focus. Still, how their treatment plans likely however can vary between practices and even from patient to patient. Overall, a good chiropractor will combine their knowledge and understanding and tailor it to fit your specific needs and goals throughout the course of your healing sessions.


For more than 100 years now, chiropractors have performed spinal manipulations and adjustments to relieve pain and increase the function in joints. For most people, it is important to feel comfortable with the chiropractor and to have an overall positive experience at the clinic. Feeling comfortable is relative and depends on personal preferences, including details such as how long a patient may typically have to wait in the waiting room or the location of the chiropractor’s office. In general, a chiropractor who is recommended by multiple people or gaining more reviews on internet is likely to be reliable.

The success story of Balanced For Life, Australia began with its founder and CEO named Dr. Lindy Kuburic, B.Chir Sc, M. Chiro. Being one of the top rated clinics in Sydney with more than 80 positive feedbacks on Google review, Balanced For Life offers a natural approach to healing your body’s aches and pains. Besides, their chiropractors are highly trained, experienced, and always up to date with the latest chiropractic techniques. What’s more, this Australia-based clinic also provides Multi-Wave Locked System (MLS) which is the laser medical treatment and is very useful by far in treating arthritis, muscle tears, and other forms of inflammation or pain.

When briefly discussing about the mastermind and the owner behind this clinic, Dr Lindy Kuburic decided she wanted to be a chiropractor at the age of 7 when many of her friends still or would rather dream of becoming firefighters or policemen and women. And her reason was so that she could help people naturally. Dr. Lindy understood at a young age that health is essential for a balanced life and has kept that mantra and philosophy through all her years of study and work life.

Furthermore, after practicing in Windsor, New South Wales as a locum and then associate for 18 months, Dr Lindy made her way to an integrated health center in Moorebank, New South Wales. It was during those 5 years laying her hands on thousands of baby, child, adult and retired spines that she really began to fully comprehend the positive impact chiropractic has on people’s lives.  It is all about neurology, the clever nervous system, which allows the body to heal, regain movement, reduce pain and function as normal. Hence, this is what she loves doing, and this is her life's passion.

Lastly, Dr. Lindy has since lived in Canada and returned in 2014 to her homeland in Australia to open her own practice in the Hills area of Sydney where she grew up, shortly after, expanding with a Windsor location. She has a current AHPRA registration and rebates are available for those who are covered under private health insurance, DVA (Department of Veteran’s Affairs), Work cover and approved Medicare EPC referral. Overall, she is more than delighted to offer you a hand in chiropractic once you have booked your online appointment with her.



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The fact that children and teenagers benefit enormously from Chiropractic Care should not and cannot be underestimated. With all the bumps and falls that occur during childhood it is a wonder that some of us make it to being adults. Most of the problems we see in adults are actually childhood problems that have simply been ignored. Even in so called "normal birthing conditions" spinal injury can result. Most injuries that children receive get grown "in to" not "out of". "As the twig grows so does the tree", children grow up to be very much out of line, degenerative and ill adults.

Chiropractic corrections are safe, gentle and effective for babies and toddlers. In fact, chiropractic is much safer than taking aspirin. All newborn children and toddlers should be examined for any spinal changes too - even if they do not have any symptoms. Every patient is different and chiropractic spinal corrections are always tailored to each child's age, strength, size and individual spinal problems. Naturally, the spinal corrective techniques are modified for newborns, infants, and small children. Early detection is the best form of cure. The misdiagnosed "growing pains" are there for a reason and should not be ignored. Because of this, parents who really care about their children are strongly advised to take their kids to the chiropractor and request regular spinal check-ups.

Meanwhile, spinal injury can begin with the forces and stresses of birth, especially if forceps or suction is used. Falls from prams and high chairs, tumbles down steps, constant bumps to the head and bottom whilst learning to walk, falls out of trees and off trampolines, sporting and car accidents all contribute to accumulated stress on the framework of a child's body. Such stresses may upset the normal mechanics of the child's body; contributing to damage and imbalance of spinal and other joints, ligaments and muscles. This in turn can worsen the nerve pathways. Your nervous system controls the way your body works. Chiropractors believe that health depends, to a large degree, on a healthy nervous system.


- Think carefully before you encourage your child into contact sports and consider chiropractic as part their preparation for training and optimum performance.

- Have your child’s spine checked periodically by a chiropractor. Never ignore your children’s complaints of pain or discomfort. Have them checked.

- Do ensure your child warms up and down when exercising, and do not encourage them to go beyond the capabilities of their fitness.

- Never drag your child by the arm as you may cause shoulder and spinal injury (i.e. throw babies in the air). Never encourage babies to walk before they are ready, either by holding them by the arms or with the use of baby walkers.

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The term ‘Chiropractic adjustment’ refers to the specific manipulation Chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function properly, otherwise known as a subluxation. Specific spinal adjustments or spinal corrections are the specialty of Chiropractors. There are more than 20 adjusting systems utilized in Chiropractic today. Each system has a specific adjusting procedure to restore the spine to normal function. This reduces the negative neurologic impact, and returns the body to more normal efficiency. Spinal adjustments, regardless of which system is utilized, are tailored to the patient’s age and spinal condition.

Technically, chiropractic analysis utilizes x-ray examination for visual assessment of the subluxated spine, to detect any possible contraindications to spinal adjustments, and to rule out bone disease or spinal pathologies. This clinic uses state-of-the-art noninvasive testing called an Surface Electromyographic Analysis (or SEMG). As nerve control the muscles of your spine, the SEMG will measure how well the motor nerves are working by reading the amount of current found in the muscles. This technology will objectively help to detect areas or nerve disturbance, muscle imbalance and postural disturbance and will help to document and monitor your results.

Furthermore, chiropractic on the other hand is widely recognized as one of the safest and most effective therapies for musculoskeletal conditions. In the words of the New Zealand government’s inquiry, Chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs, given the fact that medicine and prescription drugs are the number on cause of death in America and the third leading cause of death in Australia (behind heart disease and cancer).

Chiropractic is the largest non-surgical, non-drug prescribing primary contact health profession in the world. Chiropractic avoids drugs and invasive procedures and has an excellent safety record. In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs. Although chiropractic care has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are extremely small. To put things in perspective, you have a greater chance of being injured in a car accident than from your chiropractic care. Nonetheless, chiropractic is safe and may assist in a wide range of conditions such as:

1. Pregnancy

2. Osteoporosis

3. Rheumatoid arthritis

4. Cancer

5. Disc injuries

6. Whiplash injuries

7. Spinal fractures

8. Strains and Sprains

9. Headache, etc.

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Chiropractors are licensed as primary contact portal of entry providers in all 50 states. They are trained to triage, differentially diagnose, and refer non-chiropractic cases. Chiropractors use standard physical examination procedures with an emphasis on orthopedic, neurologic, and manual examination procedures. Chiropractors are licensed to take x-rays in all 50 states and, when indicated, can order special tests if permitted by state law (e.g., blood work, imaging). Although there is wide variation in therapeutic scope of practice from state to state, nearly all chiropractors use a variety of manual therapies with an emphasis on specific adjusted techniques. After all, therapeutic alternatives can range from manual therapy, physical therapy, and spinal adjustments to exercise and nutritional and dietary counseling.

Next, the modern doctor of Chiropractic works both directly and indirectly with the nerves, because every function of your entire body is under control of the nervous system. Every organ, tissue and cell is controlled by neurological impulses travelling from the bran to every part of the body. Our nerves make it possible for sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, as they maintain our balance and keep our body temperature at 37.6 degrees. Our nerves control our liver, our lungs, our spleen, our pancreas, our gallbladder and kidneys and all other organs. In fact, our nervous system is the master system which controls all other systems of the entire body including our glandular, reproductive, digestive, elimination, respiratory and circulatory. Complete perfect natural health comes only when we have a complete perfect natural normal functioning nervous system.

Chiropractors view themselves as specialists in NMS care but also as complementary and alternative caregivers for a number of other chronic conditions. In these situations chiropractors typically incorporate other therapeutic intervention such as counseling on diet, nutrition, and lifestyle modification. Management or co-management of patients with hypertension, diabetes, or dyslipidemia are a few among the examples. Every science of the healing art has what is known as an “avenue of approach”. For a doctor of Chiropractic, the avenue of approach is the spine because it houses and protects the spinal cord - the switchboard of the nervous system through which nerves pass from the brain to different parts of the body. The nerves leave the spine through openings between movable spinal bones called vertebrae. When these vertebrae move out of alignment there can be an interference with the normal activities of the nerve. This interference can disturb function throughout the body and cause many diseases.

Finally, most conditions of ill health are the result of some underlying causes within the body which must be found first before correction can be effective and help restore true health. Chiropractic has developed specific techniques for locating and then correcting spinal misalignments that disturb nerve function. When you experience pain, it can affect every aspect of your life. Pain can sometimes take many years to develop, and can advance unnoticed. Other times, pain can happen in an instant. However it comes on, pain will change the way you live your life. The prolonged effects can gradually alter your physical, emotional and mental state, tone of voice, attitude, treatment of others, daily activities, the way you appear to others, and can leave you feeling defeated. Chiropractic, therefore, makes a major contribution to the healing and the healing arts when it comes to treating the patients.

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Historically, the word ‘Chiropractic’ comes from Greek words meaning “treatment by hand”, which is exactly what Chiropractors do - they use their hands to manipulate the body and promote healing and wellness. Modern Chiropractic began in the late 1800s when Daniel David Palmer, a self-educated teacher and healer, performed the first spinal manipulation on a patient. Today, Chiropractic is the third largest area of medicine, next only to dentistry and is the largest Complementary and Alternative Medicine health profession.

The contemporary practice of chiropractic maintains its focus on the evaluation and conservative treatment of NMS disorders and the important relationship between the functioning of the NMS system and overall well-being and health. Dysfunction or disease of the musculoskeletal system in any form is viewed as having the potential to create disorders of the locomotors system that may lead to impaired functioning of the individual. This model is supported by the underlying principle that stresses the important interrelationship that exists between structure and function of the human body.

In addition to specializing in the adjusted (manipulative) treatment of disorders of the spinal and extremity joints, it is common for chiropractors to include other treatment procedures in patient management and health promotion. Common therapies applied include dietary modification, nutritional supplementation, physical therapies, and exercise. The Chiropractic philosophy is based on the following belief systems:

a. All bodily functions are connected and the healing process involves the entire body.

b. A healthy nervous system, particularly the spine, is the key to a healthy body. The spinal cord carries information throughout the body and is responsible for all bodily functions including voluntary movements (such as walking) and involuntary functions (such as breathing). When the systems of the body are in balance, it is called homeostasis. Disorders of the bones, muscles and nerves can disrupt the homeostasis and increase the risk of disease and other health problems.

c. When the body systems are in harmony, the human body as the remarkable ability to maintain health and heal itself.

Meanwhile, chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. It is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and a philosophy of natural health care based on your inborn potential to be healthy. An important principle of chiropractic is that because the nervous system is highly developed in the human being and influences all other systems in the body, it therefore plays a significant role in health and disease. Although the exact nature of the relationship between dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system and changes in neurologic input to other body systems is not known, an enduring basic principle of chiropractic is that aberrations in structure or function can have an effect on health and the body’s sense of well-being.

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A girl named Lily had her own first-ever therapy. During her first therapy session, she happened to notice her therapist constantly glancing at her hands. This worried her. Was I trembling or feeling terribly nervous? What did she think about that? Should I have kept my hands still? Was that strange enough? – All these intrusive thoughts came across her mind after having her first-ever mental health consultation with a therapist she booked via online.

To kick start with the above topic, the feeling of awkwardness to be opened and vulnerable with a complete stranger at initial stage can be totally understood. However, such nervousness will wear off as time goes on and therapy can gradually help you to cope with your most pressing emotional issues. In order to get the full benefits of therapy, you have to put your mental health in the right person’s hands. Even the professionals we talked to agreed that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy, and the professional that works well for someone else might not work as well for you. After all, there are important considerations to keep in mind through every step of the therapy process.


If you’re new to the world of psychotherapy, you’ll probably start by asking friends for referrals or searching online. You may even have received a suggestion to work with a particular therapist, maybe a friend of yours said, “This therapist helped me so much. You should call them and make an appointment, too.” – However, will that particular therapist be able to help you as well? The answer is it depends.

When researching possible candidates, you want to make sure they have the tools to solve your issues. At the very minimum, a therapist’s website should include information about their education, certifications, and specializations. There are different kinds of mental health accreditations, and a counselor’s certifications will be different than, say, a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication. That doesn’t make them any less skilled at what they do. While these therapists may have great skills or outstanding credentials, their work with you will only be effective if you feel connected to them. Therefore, the same therapist that made a great impact on your friend may not work out well for you if you don’t feel that personal touch. If you don’t like your therapist, or you are too way concerned that they may judge you, you aren’t likely to share your innermost thoughts and feelings or acknowledge unflattering behaviors. As a result, if you are not opened enough to talk about those things that bother you significantly, you might not get to the heart of your issues and you might not gain the information you need to create positive changes at the end.


Once you have narrowed it down to a few therapists who look promising, the next step is to make a quick consultation call. Before committing to an actual appointment, reach out and ask to chat on the phone or send some questions via email. And during your preliminary inquiry, you have the opportunity to ask the therapist questions that are important for you to know about the therapist you are reaching out better so that you will have some sort of personal bond developed, or simply known as having a therapeutic alliance.

When it comes to addressing why it is imperative to have a therapeutic alliance, Edward Bordin (one of the first researchers to examine the effect of therapeutic alliance), found that the alliance isn’t just made up of a bond between the therapist and the patient. It has also something to do with agreement on the goals of therapy and the methods used to reach those goals. The therapist and the patient need to like one another. They also need to feel there are good communication and a mutual willingness to work together. And the idea is that the therapy relationship makes substantial and consistent contributions to psychotherapy outcome independent of the specific type of treatment, which is accountable for why clients improve (or fail to improve) at least as much as the particular treatment method.


Often, therapists possess a lot of initials after their names, and it can be confusing to figure out what all those letters stand for. While you certainly don’t need to become an expert on mental health accreditations, it can be helpful to understand a bit about what the letters mean. Here are some of the more common ones.

a. LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

b. LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

c. LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor.

d. LMHC: Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

e. PsyD: Doctor of Psychology.

f. CCC: Canadian Certified Counselor.

In addition, there are a number of different places where you can begin looking for a therapist. Some options include:

i. Insurance directory: Check with your health insurance provider to see if they have a directory of therapists who accept your insurance.

ii. Recommendations from friends: Friends who have had great experiences with a particular therapist can be a great resource when you are looking for a treatment provider.

iii. Mental health organizations: Many mental health organizations maintain therapist directories listing professionals who are qualified to treat different conditions.

iv. Online therapist directories: You can also do an online search to find therapist directories where you can search based on education, treatment specialty, experience, and geographic location.

v. Social media (e.g. Instagram, Facebook): If you are a social media addict and regularly spend most of your time browsing on social media, you can easily find several renowned therapists who own their Instagram or Facebook account. Perhaps, one of the notable figures who specializes in the field of mental health issues (identity, relationships, moral trauma) that I would personally recommend is the Serbian-Canadian Psychologist named Sara Kuburic aka Millennial Therapist.

Above all, you may see some other variations as each state has its own licensing board and credentialing system. While it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, their exact license might not matter very much to you in the end. What is really important is to make sure that the therapist you choose is a licensed mental health professional as they follow guidelines and a code of ethics. This is significant if you are looking for therapy as opposed to life coaching since life coaches by far are not required to have a specific degree, and they don’t have oversight by a governing board.

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By definition, psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychologist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral, and nonjudgmental. You and your psychologist will work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best. And by the time you’re done with your therapy sessions, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.


Due to the external factors such as the many misconceptions about psychotherapy, it is natural that you may find yourself feeling inexplicably reluctant to try it out. Even if you know the realities instead of the myths, you may feel nervous about trying it yourself in the first place. Some people seek psychotherapy because they have felt depressed, anxious, or angry for a long period of time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being where they literally need help in navigating them. They may be going through a divorce, for example, or feeling overwhelmed by a new job, grieving a family member’s death, and so forth.

To begin with, therapy is more about taking the time to look for and treat the source of the wound. It can be hard to understand what therapy is targeting, or how it is doing so. Therapy comes with a pretty strong sense of the unknown for a lot of people, and it can be uncomfortable to put your trust in a seemingly vague, nonlinear process. This is particularly true if you’re busy and want an answer or solution quickly; especially, when adding another vague unknown to your life seems like it can’t possibly be helpful at all.

So, what does success look like in psychotherapy? How can we tell if it actually works? Well, the common issue addressed to this question is that success means different things to different providers, in different kinds of therapy, and for different conditions or purposes. According to Kristine Luce, PhD (a psychologist and clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University School of Medicine), there are over 200 diagnosable mental health conditions and approximately 14 recognized types of mental health professionals who are trained to provide various therapies or counseling in the U.S alone and with that being said, there are approximately thousands of iterations and possible responses to this big question which is why she asked some of her fellow mental health professionals to weigh in on this topic.

Hence, questioning how to know if psychotherapy really helps in therapy? – The answer to this is that it greatly depends on what they (patients/clients) sought treatment for their health and personal history, symptoms, goals for treatment, background, etc. plus who they are receiving treatment from such as their credentials (how they were trained, what kind of therapy they practice, and what they might look for in a patient for improvement). For example, measuring success in cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety would look very different than the metrics for success in couple’s therapy for marital discord.

Similarly, the kind of treatment you receive will depend on a variety of factors such as your current psychological research, your psychologist’s theoretical orientation, and what works best for your situation which makes it even harder to measure what your expectations should truly be and will look like for improvement. Like the conversations in any relationship, what you discuss in therapy initially might be more general until you get more comfortable. Your goals might also start off as more surface level (e.g. I want to sleep better), however, what comes out over time through your work together could be a deeper, causal understanding of these symptoms (e.g. I think I cannot sleep better because I experience a trauma and am having nightmares from it), which in turn could alter the goals for your therapy, what improvement would look like, and might even change the type of therapy you may receive in the future.

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Perhaps, one effective instrument to deal with resistance in psychotherapy is for the therapist to ask the client for feedback at the end of each session, and attempt to modify their treatment plan in response to that feedback. For example, certain clients whose feedback was solicited expressed that their therapist did not understand their situations because of their own privilege as a therapist. The therapist was then able to recognize this and incorporate it into their treatment so that they could deal with their client from a more honest and open perspective.

Another study looking at resistance in psychotherapy focused specifically on in-session distress. Some researchers had clients’ complete post-session questionnaires which asked them to identify any in-session distress they experienced. From there, the therapists were more careful to monitor in-session distress and discussed this distress with their client when they felt it was becoming an issue. When in-session distress was identified and discussed, for example, clients completed more therapy sessions and achieved better post-therapy outcomes in which the idea is reinforced in the description of a case study of a man who sought therapy for anger issues at the command of his wife. When the therapist was encountering extreme resistance from the client, she briefly stopped the session and politely confronted him about his resistance, allowing the client to feel that he was being listened to. From there, the therapist gave the client more control by allowing him to structure the session himself, at which point he became less guarded and was eventually able to resolve some of his issues with multiple psychotherapy sessions.

Often, therapists encountered resistance when they ran the sessions by the book and somewhat rigidly. By getting direct feedback from the client, the therapists were able to modify their treatment plans to address the client’s concerns, and from there they encountered less resistance. Since psychotherapy is supposed to be an individualized process, the ability to adapt a treatment plan is crucial for any therapist when it comes to dealing or encountering resistance.

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Psychotherapy comes in many different forms and can be used to treat many different disorders, but at the end of the day, it is a personalized process that requires a psychotherapist who is keenly aware of their client’s personal needs. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals use several types of therapy. The choice of therapy type depends on the patient’s particular illness and circumstances, and the patient’s preference.

a. Cognitive behavioral therapy. This technique helps patients identify and change thinking and behavior patterns that are harmful or ineffective, replacing them with more accurate thoughts and functional behaviors. It often involves practicing new skills in the “real world.”

b. Interpersonal therapy. It is used to help patients understand underlying interpersonal issues that are troublesome, like unresolved grief, changes in social or work roles, conflicts with significant others, and problems relating to others.

c. Psychodynamic therapy. This method is based on the idea that behavior and mental well-being are influenced by childhood relationships and experiences, psychological conflicts, and unproductive or inappropriate repetitive thoughts or feelings that are often outside of the person’s awareness. It uses the relationship with the therapist to work on understanding oneself more fully and to change old patterns so a person can more fully take charge of his or her life.

Apart from that, the goals of treatment and arrangements for how often and how long to meet are planned jointly by the patient and therapist. Most sessions are conducted roughly around 45 – 50 minutes long. Psychotherapy can be short-term, dealing with immediate issues, or long-term, dealing with longstanding and complex issues. Therapy may be performed in an individual, family, couples, or group setting, and can be used by adults, children, or adolescents. Nevertheless, such medication is often used in addition to psychotherapy, and for some disorders the combined treatment is better than either alone, which is a decision to be made by a patient in consultation with the therapist.

Finally, the definition of psychotherapy importantly stipulates that the treatment delivered is intended by the therapist to be therapeutic. Clients in any healing practice expect that the healer believes in the effectiveness of the practice, and psychotherapy clients are no different. Indeed, research has supported the claim that therapist allegiance to the treatment is associated with psychotherapy outcomes. Typically, therapists in practice have allegiance to the treatment delivered, but occasionally treatment protocols are mandated for various reasons, resulting in therapists’ delivering a treatment that they do not believe is optimally therapeutic. Although one could classify the delivery of a protocol by a doubting therapist as psychotherapy, the discussion here relates to such treatments which are faithfully delivered.

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Lily is a 21-year-old college student suffering many symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. She grew up in a dysfunctional, rural, low socioeconomic status family with significant interpersonal violence between her parents (e.g., pushing and shoving, throwing objects at each other, accompanied by angry outbursts). Although Lily was not the object of abuse, she finds the family environment aversive and spends as much time as she can away from home, which she accomplishes by working diligently at school and participating in as many school activities as possible. She is dedicated to attending college and “never returning home.” However, she finds that she feels alienated from the other students at the urban liberal arts college she attends because they are from cosmopolitan upper middle-class and upper-class homes and do not share much in common with her.

Lily’s social life is sparse and spends most of the time studying by herself. She is motivated to change, and she and her therapist have focused on increasing social activities. Lily has made some friends during the course of therapy and is feeling better, displaying fewer symptoms and reporting greater well-being. She presented to the sixth session agitated and reported that she had not completed the homework that had been assigned. When the therapist noted her agitated state, she responded, “I don’t want to talk about it.” The therapist had several thoughts: “Has something happened to Lily, such as a sexual assault?” “Is she ashamed that she did not complete the homework?” “Is our relationship not sufficient for Lily to disclose more difficult material?” “Was the focus on interpersonal relationships with other students not optimal?” “Was Lily simply being compliant with therapy because she is motivated to accomplish any task?” “Was the progress noted previously superficial?” But the most urgent question was: “What do I say to her at this moment and how do I say it?”

As you can see, the above case study poignantly illustrates how complex the task of therapy can be and typically is. There is much important background knowledge needed: a firm understanding of biological, social, ecological, cultural, affective, and cognitive bases of behavior. But what is most important in psychotherapy is a good road map of how therapy unfolds – a guide to action. A map is a representation of reality, and one would not set out across country without one. In psychotherapy, the representation of reality used to guide therapy is theory. Theory provides the framework for therapeutic action: which questions to ask, what to attend to, how to respond to client verbal and nonverbal behavior, when and how to intervene, and how to assess progress. Every aspect of therapy is saturated with the theoretical perspective of the therapist. As it will become apparent, there is no one “best” road map for therapy; there are a number of viable theories from which to choose.


Basically, psychotherapy in general refers to a treatment that involves a relationship between a therapist and patient. It can be used to treat a broad variety of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. The goal of psychotherapy is to eliminate or control disabling or troubling symptoms so the patient can function better. Such a therapy given can help build a sense of well-being and healing. Problems helped by psychotherapy include difficulties in coping with daily life, the impact of trauma, medical illness, or loss, like the death of a loved one, and specific mental disorders, like depression or eating disorders. In this case, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals can provide psychotherapy whenever it is necessary for their patients or clients to be treated.

Furthermore, psychotherapy belongs to a class of healing practices that involves talk as the medium to address psychological distress. In many ways, psychotherapy is an amorphous practice because it is delivered by a variety of professionals and paraprofessionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychotherapy can be defined as a “collaborative treatment between an individual and a psychologist”, whereas the psychologist uses “scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits”. Psychotherapy is widely accepted as a legitimate and beneficial healing practice in the United States and in many other countries. It is estimated that more than 10 million Americans receive psychotherapy annually. About 3% of the U.S. general population uses outpatient psychotherapy services. However, out of those who use outpatient services, the percentage that uses only psychotherapy has been declining—from 15.9% in 1998 to 10.5% in 2007.

Meanwhile, psychotherapy is a primarily interpersonal treatment that is (1) based on psychological principles, (2) involves a trained therapist and a client who is seeking help for a mental disorder, problem, or complaint, (3) is intended by the therapist to be remedial for the client disorder, problem, or complaint, and (4) is adapted or individualized for the particular client and his or her disorder, problem, or complaint. By examining aspects of this definition helps clarify the boundaries of psychotherapy or other similar practices. However, keep in mind that there are aspects of the definition, boundaries, and practices about which many will quibble or slightly argue about them. Yet, as various theories are presented, it is important to confine the discussion to the practice of psychotherapy.

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