Psychologist Questions Psychologist

What is talk therapy used for?

I am a 28 year old female. I have depression and heard about talk therapy. I want to know what is talk therapy used for?

7 Answers

Counseling or "talk therapy" is used to assist a person in addressing sources of distress that interfering with daily functioning. The therapist is an objective source of advice and guidance for the patient. The goal is to assist the patient to gain insight into their source of difficulty and to find constructive ways of addressing it.
First and foremost, talk therapy (psychotherapy) is used as a space for support. Depending on your presenting concerns, it can be powerful in processing current emotions, changing patterns of thought and behavior to facilitate a more adaptive lifestyle, and really anything you want to talk about or work through. Therapy does not have to be in depth, it can also be very solution-focused and brief depending on preference.
Hello and thank you for your question. Talk therapy is a session where you meet once or twice a week with your therapist whose orientation is basically the psychodynamic or client-centered approach. The goal of the former is that subconscious feelings of past traumatic events have been suppressed. These negative memories are now playing out in the conscious mind through the manifestation of anxiety or depression. The goal is to allow the patient to talk through "free floating" and reach a cartharsis that enables subconscious thoughts to be brought to awareness. It is surmised that the cathartic experience will lead to a reduction or elimination of psychological problems. The latter is where the therapist uses emphatic listening skills by allowing the patient to openly share negative experiences and gain insight into how to overcome them and become mentally healthy. The focus is on the client, thus the name "client-centered."
Talk therapy is used to supplement everything. For depression, CBT, ACT, Interpersonal, and internal family systems.

It is an underutilized and excellent question. Psychotherapy is used for many purposes, but underlying it all is the goal to provide the time and space for simple and clear communication about complex thoughts and feelings, conflicts, ideas, and questions.

In general, talk therapy is used to help you increase your understanding and insights into your own mental health struggles and help you figure out what internal changes to make that might help you feel better, or what other life changes need to occur to help you do things better. How a therapist helps you accomplish this process depends on what type of training we have had and what we call our therapeutic orientation. Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, for example, will help you find your negative thoughts, negative or unhelpful beliefs, and other core issues and teach you how to challenge unhelpful thought patterns and change them so you can experience improved feelings and make healthier behavioral choices. Interpersonal Therapists might help you examine past relationships and trauma experiences and increase your insight into how that might influence the problems within your current relationships, or the life choices you make now in your life, and they will work to help you interrupt and change any relationship patterns that are unhelpful for you, to help you feel less stuck. These are only two types of the many talk therapy orientations and styles, and most of us use more than one type. What most of the orientations have in common is training on human behavior and what makes us similar and different from to each other as people and developing a professional understanding on how mental health problems arise to negatively influence our lives. We then use our trained ways of asking certain questions, responding to you in certain ways, and providing a different view point to help you make these changes. Some mental health problems and conditions may respond better to specific orientations and methods, but research tells us that, for the most part, you liking your therapist and feeling like they are a good fit for you is going to determine most of the success you feel like you have when utilizing talk therapy.
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