What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a general term that is used to describe the process of treating psychological disorders and mental distress. Psychotherapy is similar to counselling in so far as it is a talking therapy but it tackles more long term and deeply embedded issues. During this process, a trained psychotherapist helps the client tackle a specific or general problem such as a particular mental illness or a source of life stress. All types of psychotherapy involve developing a therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist, communicating and creating a dialogue and working to overcome problematic thoughts or behaviours.

What are the benefits of psychotherapy?

The most important factor in successful therapy is the client, not the therapist.

Participating in psychotherapy offers a number of benefits for the client. It is usually helpful to have somebody who really does understand you. Therapy may give the client a fresh perspective on a difficult problem and direct the client towards a solution. Most patients will say that the benefits of psychotherapy include:

  • Being able to understand yourself and your personal goals and values better.
  • Developing skills for improving relationships.
  • It helps the client overcome certain problems, such as an eating disorder, depression, or anxiety.
  • Obtaining a solution to the problems or concerns that made the client seek therapy.

What are the disadvantages of psychotherapy?

  • Some clients may find that the treatment results in changes they had not expected, or did not want.
  • Some people do not like to have to relive unpleasant events (not all psychotherapy techniques make the client do this).

What does psychotherapy treat?

Depression Anxiety
Post-traumatic stress disorder Marital problems
Obsessive-compulsive disorder Low self-esteem
Personality disorders Alcoholism
Addiction Problems stemming from child abuse
Behavioral problems Bipolar Disorder (in combination with drugs)
Family disputes Anxiety disorder, including phobias
Emotional crises