What You Need to Know About Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, is a form of treatment that involves working closely with a psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health expert. Through speaking to these experts, the patient learns about their disorder or addiction, their feelings, emotions, behaviors, thoughts and moods. They learn how to deal with their behaviors, cope with their emotions and take control of their life.

There are different approaches to psychotherapy that will differ between experts, psychotherapists, resource centers and individual needs. Psychotherapy can be used alone or in addition to prescribed medication or other forms of treatment.

More than a quarter of Americans deal with depression, anxiety or another mental illness, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. Many of these people seek help from psychotherapists to regain control of their lives and reduce their depression and anxiety. Aside from anxiety and depression, psychotherapy can assist individuals with personality disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

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If you are unsure if psychotherapy is right for you, consider some of the following symptoms:

  • Overwhelming and prolonged feeling of sadness and helplessness
  • Problems that never seem to get better
  • Difficulty concentrating on assignments and daily activities
  • Expect the worst and are constantly on edge
  • Self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol
  • Your self-medicating habits are hurting your friends and family

Studies show that 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy see a benefit from the treatment. Assess your progression as you continue your psychotherapy sessions to ensure you are benefiting from the treatment. If you are not reaching your goals, talk to your psychotherapist and reassess your treatment plan or even consider seeking out a new counselor whose practices will better suit your needs. Many people start to see changes between six and 12 weeks, according to the American Psychological Association. However, everyone is different and will see individualized results.

Featured image John McGuire