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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