What is Psychotherapy

Do you ever feel too overwhelmed to manage your day to day responsibilities and relationships? Do you have a prolonged sense of sadness? Or maybe you worry excessively or are constantly on edge. If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a quarter of American adults experience depression, anxiety or another disorder at any given time. You may need help coping with debilitating issues like a serious illness, relationship troubles, job loss, the death of a loved one, stress or other challenges. And as a psychotherapist I can help.

Through psychotherapy, you can gain valuable insights and learn to practice skills to help you live a happier, healthier and more productive life. In psychotherapy sessions I apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits.

Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and their therapist. There are several approaches to psychotherapy that help individuals work through their challenges. It is grounded in dialogue and provides a supportive and safe environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thoughts and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best. So hopefully by the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the issue that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.

 What are the different kinds of psychotherapy?
There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Psychotherapist generally draw on one or more of these. Each theoretical perspective acts as a map to help guide an understanding of the situation and develop solutions.
The kind of treatment you receive will depend on your therapist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation.

Therapist who use cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, have a practical approach to treatment. You might be asked to tackle certain tasks designed to help you develop more effective coping skills. This approach often involves homework assignments. Your therapist might ask you to gather more information, such as logging your reactions to a particular situation as they occur. Or you might be prompted to practice new skills between sessions, such as asking someone with an social phobia to practice introducing themselves to someone new. You might also have reading assignments so you can learn more about a particular topic.

In contrast, psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches typically focus more on talking than doing. You might spend your sessions discussing your early experiences to help you and your therapist better understand the root causes of your current problems. Your therapist may also combine elements from several styles of psychotherapy. In fact, most therapists don’t tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client’s needs.

The main thing to know is whether your therapist has expertise in the area you need help with and whether your psychotherapist feels he or she can help you.