What Is Psychotherapy and How Does It Work?

By | May 31, 2016

shutterstock_307284413Sometimes individuals may feel too overwhelmed to deal with their problems, which could result in a whirlwind of psychological issues. In fact, more than a quarter of the American population experiences depression, anxiety or another mental health disorder in any given year according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Even though the prevalence of such psychological disorders seems high, it is something that can be treated through psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy, also known as ‘talk therapy’, is the treatment of a mental disorder through psychological means rather than medical means. While some psychologists and doctors can certainly combine treatment methods with medication, psychotherapy is generally the first step in the treatment process. Through psychotherapy, individuals can lead happier and healthier lives while overcoming their internal struggles by talking out their problems with their doctor and changing their perspective. For instance, Stuart MacFarlane, a therapist, has helped hundreds of patients improve their overall outlook through psychotherapy as the patients develop effective and healthier habits.

Psychologists will apply scientifically validated methods and approaches to treat a patient and it may include cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy sessions, Jungian analysis and other methods of talk therapy. This type of therapy revolves around open communication and dialogue where the patient is in a supportive environment that allows them to freely discuss what’s on their mind. The psychologist serves as an objective, non-judgmental and neutral party that listens carefully to identify the problematic thoughts and behaviors that are hindering the patient from feeling their best.

Once the psychologist has gathered all of the initial information from the patient, they can provide the patient with effective ways to overcome their internal struggles. They help the patient change their perspective and cognition by teaching them new skills to better cope with the challenges they are facing. They may suggest the patient partake in breathing exercises when they start to feel overwhelmed, they may ask the patient to write down the things that trigger their emotions and they may even suggest the patient to exercise so they can boost their serotonin levels, which promotes the ‘feel good’ hormones.

Every psychotherapy session is different from one patient to the next because their needs are unique, which requires a customized approach to alleviate their specific psychological dilemma. This simply means that every individual who seeks psychotherapy will get their psychologist’s undivided attention because they will cater to their exact needs. Whether someone feels depressed, anxious, angry or overwhelmed, they may benefit greatly from psychotherapy. Additionally, psychotherapy can help individuals who are coping with the loss of a loved one, experiencing emotional turmoil over a relationship and even everyday stress.

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