Psychotherapy counseling session



Definition:  General term for a process of treating mental and emotional disorders by talking about conditions and related issues with a mental health provider and working toward a solution.   Using the insights and knowledge gained from psychotherapy, a patient can pick up healthy coping skills and stress management techniques. 

The following are some of the conditions usually benefiting from psychotherapy:
anger abuse sexual disorders
grief relationship problems anxiety disorders
medical illnesses work problems depression

Different therapies are prescribed for different conditions and situations:
Behavioral Therapy 
Behavioral therapy focuses on changing unwanted or unhealthy behaviors, typically using a system of rewards, reinforcements of positive behavior and desensitization.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Designed to help identify and change distorted thought (cognitive) patterns leading to troublesome, self-defeating or self-destructive feelings and behaviors. CBT combines features of both cognitive and behavior therapies to help identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. CBT is not concerned with causes of the depression so much as what a person can do, right now, to help change the way they are feeling. CBT is goal-oriented and works best when the patient takes an active role.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) 
Interpersonal therapy focuses on current relationships with other people and how to improve interpersonal skills –how the patient relates to others, including family, friends and colleagues. IPT does not try to change the personality but rather to teach new skills that can lessen symptoms.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
Rational emotive behavior therapy is a practical, action-oriented approach to coping with problems and enhancing personal growth. REBT places a good deal of its focus on the present: on currently-held attitudes, painful emotions and mal-adaptive behaviors robbing the patient of happier life experiences. REBT also provides people with an individualized set of proven techniques for helping them solve problems.
Family Therapy 
Helps families, or individuals within a family, understand and improve the way family members interact with each other and resolve conflicts.
Marriage Counseling (also called Couples Therapy) 
Gives partners – married or not – the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PDPT) 
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is based on the theories of psychoanalysis, focusing on increasing awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviors, developing new insights into one’s motivations, and resolving conflicts to live a happier life. PDPT is one of the oldest theories of psychology in which patients are viewed within a model of illness or "what is lacking." Individuals are seen as developing from a "dynamic" that begins in early childhood and progresses throughout life.
Sources:  Depression and Bipolar Support AllianceMayo Clinic and Psych Central  

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Last Update: November 12, 2013