Healthy Living

Understanding Psychotherapy

Understanding Psychotherapy

Most of us usually become too overwhelmed when dealing with the issues affecting our lives. Cases of depression, anxiety, and mental disorders are very common today. Others struggle with weight-related issues, addiction, sexuality, relationships, and loss of jobs, among others. All these concerns become very discomforting, and therefore, need to be addressed. Through psychotherapy, one will be able to achieve a life with greater balance and full of optimism.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a series of treatments, which are aimed at solving a person’s psychological problems. While it is normal for one to feel a little worried or low sometimes, too much worrying will have an adverse impact on your way of life. When these negative feelings and mentality continue, they usually escalate into much bigger problems later in life. For instance, a person suffering from depression may fail to go to work and even neglect his personal hygiene in the long run.

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When these psychological issues begin to interfere with your way of life, that is when the option of psychological therapy is considered. Psychotherapy will assist you in solving your problems and let you control your life again. Psychotherapy will be more engaging when you continually attend sessions to establish your progress. In most cases, psychological treatments are successful in solving psychologically-related issues.

When should you consider psychotherapy?

There are various misconceptions related to psychotherapy. As a result, some people may not be willing to try the process and see how it works. Trying it yourself could be a nervous encounter even if you are aware of what it is really about. Therefore, making the first step to overcoming one's nervousness is a huge accomplishment. You have to reach out and any inequalities experienced in your life can be solved through the psychotherapy process.

Ensure that you always have the right reasons for psychotherapy as we are talking about your life. In most cases, people need psychotherapy when they are depressed, have anger issues, or anxiety issues. Some may want to be helped with a condition or illness that is interfering with their physical and emotional well-being. Others may be going through a divorce, having an empty feeling, or dealing with addiction, among others.

Some of the signs that will signal the need for psychotherapy include:

  • Having a prolonged sense of sadness or feeling helpless.
  • It becomes difficult for you to focus on your tasks or to carry out other essential duties.
  • After receiving help from family and friends, your problems persist and don’t get any better. In fact, they are escalating.
  • You experience a sense of fear and anxiety all the time.
  • Your drug and alcohol addiction problems are adversely affecting your life and other people.

The Types of Psychotherapy

There is a broad range of strategies to psychotherapy. Usually, a psychotherapist will use one or more approaches when solving a problem. Depending on the problem of the patient, each approach will act as a guideline to help the therapist in knowing and understanding one's problems. 

The type of psychotherapy to be used will depend on the person’s concerns and illness together with what he or she prefers. The common types of psychotherapy include:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (CBT)

CBT is a kind of therapy that assists the patients in identifying and changing their way of thinking as well as behavioral patterns that are unfavorable or ineffective. The inhibiting thoughts and unproductive patterns are substituted with productive behavior and useful thoughts. This type of therapy usually employs the use of applying new skills to the current situation.

2. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

IPT aims to ensure that you understand various interpersonal issues, which are the sources of your problems. They can include grief, unresolved family feuds, social role changes, and having problems with other people.

3. Psychodynamic Therapy

This type of psychotherapy is based on the concept that your mental status and strange behavioral patterns are as a result of psychological conflicts in the past, childhood experiences, relationships, and repetitive thoughts that are unproductive. Your old patterns will be changed during therapy so that you can take full control of your life. Psychoanalysis is a more intense form of psychodynamic therapy. Sessions are usually done three times in a week.

Choosing a Psychotherapist

If you intend to use an employee program or insurance to pay for the therapy, you will be required to choose a mental health provider, who is a member of your employee program or insurance panel. However, there are other ways to chose a therapist if you are free to choose one. They include:

  • Getting referrals from trusted family members or close friends. They should have at least gone through the therapy in the past or have in-depth knowledge about the same.
  • You can ask a doctor for an advice on the different therapists available. If it is a divorce matter that you are going through, your lawyer might be able to have some useful suggestions.
  • Go online and look for reviews on the various websites dealing with psychology. Compare and contrast what each therapist offers and come up with your potential therapist.
  • If near a university, you may be required to consult a professor or lecturer from the psychology department. They can effectively assist you as they have quite a lot of information on the subject.
  • You can contact your local area community mental health hospital for suggestions.
  • You can also use an online psychologist directory like the APA's Psychologist Locator. These online directories should be ones that can be trusted.

How do you assess the effectiveness of psychotherapy?

Psychological therapy frequently offers more than just a place to talk about your issues. Hundreds of studies have shown that psychotherapy is a very effective treatment method for matters relating to personal life. The success rate of psychotherapy has always been on the rise.

Studies show that approximately 75 percent of people who go through psychotherapy always come out with positive results, which shows how this type of treatment is reliable to most people.

For a psychotherapy treatment to be successful, three key factors should be working together:

  1. The treatment should be evidence-based and is in line with the type of concern you have.
  2. Your therapist should be someone who has been long enough in the field with a positive track record.
  3. Your personality, character, and values will determine the outcome of the therapy. The reason is that at the end of the day, the issues narrow down to you. Therefore, before going for therapy, have a clear-cut goal, be truthful and honest during the sessions, take the process seriously, and furthermore, be realistic. Many people go through psychotherapy with huge expectations and often come out disappointed.

Ensure that you visit a therapist in case a need arises to avoid further complications that come as a result of depression, anxiety, or stress.