Counseling has been around for a while, and there are many different types. When treating issues that involve the mind and body, you can take a mind-based approach, a medical-based approach, or a combination of both. Psychiatrists, for example, can prescribe medicine and often do in conjunction with any therapy they provide their patients. Psychotherapy isn’t a term we often use among the general population, but it is something we participate in more often than we realize. So how do we define psychotherapy?
What is Psychotherapy?
The most common way to define psychotherapy is that it is essentially just talk therapy. Often referred to as counseling or therapy, it’s a way to help people that are experiencing mental illnesses or emotional difficulties. It aims to help a person function better and potentially increase their well-being and speed up their healing. We do this by working to control or eliminate the troubling symptoms.
Psychotherapists use scientifically validated ways to help you develop healthier, more productive habits. You’ll talk through your issues and work to resolve your feelings about them while working on learning strategies to help with any future occurrences or problems that come up.
You’re also building a relationship with your therapist where you can talk openly about things with someone neutral and non-judgmental. When you look to define psychotherapy, it’s essential to understand that many types of therapists use this method in their practice. You may experience it with your psychiatrist, a social worker, a mental health counselor, psychiatric nurses, marriage or family therapists, and many others. It is both a job title and a tool.
What are the Different Types?
You can’t define psychotherapy without discussing the types of therapy it encompasses. The way psychotherapy is utilized will depend on the patient and the situation. There are several different approaches, including the examples listed below:
- Psychoanalytic Therapy: an in-depth look into a person’s thoughts to understand unconscious thoughts, feelings, or memories that may be influencing behavior; dream interpretation is often a tool used here, and Sigmund Freud is famously associated with this type of psychotherapy
- Humanistic Therapy: starting in the 1950s and associated with Carl Rogers, this focuses on the patient and helps them use self-exploration, self-actualization, and positive thinking
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: understanding how thoughts and feelings influence behaviors and working to not only change the thought process but also the behaviors associated with them
Who Does it Work For?
Therapy can work for almost anyone who wants to seek help for overwhelming feelings or thoughts. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Here are some reasons people seek out psychotherapy:
- Coping with daily life
- Dealing with the impact of trauma or loss
- Overcoming a specific mental illness
- Addiction therapy
When Should You Try It?
The stigma surrounding counseling and therapy of all types is lessening, and acceptance of participating in therapy is growing. This is making it easier to get help when you need it. Here are some reasons you might want to see a counselor:
- You are relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms
- Friends or family have expressed concern for you
- You haven’t had success with other things you’ve tried
- A particular issue is causing excessive stress or disrupting your life
- You worry and stress constantly
- You have ongoing, overwhelming feelings of sadness or hopelessness
While you may not think you can benefit from psychotherapy, trying it before you rule it out is advised. It is especially helpful in situations of addiction, where co-occurring issues like depression typically occur. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your situation, reach out to us at 877.279.1777. The staff at Oceanfront Recovery are ready to help you get on the road to recovery.