Therapy (also known as psychotherapy and counseling) is a mutual process between a client and therapist that aims to help change and enhance quality of life. Therapy can help clients tackle obstacles that may hinder mental health and personal connection. It can also help improve emotions and self-esteem. Many people who participate in therapy find that they develop personal growth and self-actualization as well.
What does psychotherapy treat and when is it suggested?
Therapy treats mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It can also focus on relationship distress, stress management, and career problems. Typically, a person seeks out therapy when their mental health concerns begin affecting their day-to-day functioning. Therapy helps people improve their behaviors and emotions so that they can live their lives to the fullest.
Who can offer psychotherapy?
Therapist, counselors, and psychologists are all regulated by state licensing boards. Some therapists have a master’s degree (e.g. social workers and LMFTs), and some have doctoral degrees (psychologists). Additionally, psychiatrists are medical doctors with mental health specialties who can prescribe psychotropic medications.
How are therapy objectives, frequency, and length decided?
The goals and length of therapy are decided collaboratively by both the clinician and the client. The course of therapy also depends largely on the presenting concerns and their severity. Some types of therapy last longer than others (for example, traditional psychoanalysis can last for years) and some therapy is very brief (for example crisis management therapy is often only a few sessions). Most therapy is considered short term (fewer than 20 sessions) and sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes. More complicated concerns may necessitate more frequent and longer sessions.
Can psychotherapy cure me?
Therapy is meant to improve presenting concerns and is designed to give the client tools so that they can live more effectively once therapy is complete. Many mental health conditions that are the product of underlying biological concerns cannot be “cured” per se, but they can be treated so that the client no longer suffers because of them.