Published on 17 October 2021

Psychotherapy: Meaning , Types, Efficacy

Psychological Therapy PSYCHOTHERAPY
Table of Contents

Do you feel like you are stuck in the same monotonous routine? Living and doing the same things repeatedly, not too many happy or sad? Just wanting something to change so you can feel a different feeling? 

Rather than wishing the outside world to make a change, why don't we work on ourselves a little and bring out a change within us, bringing in a new perspective to see the world in a different light?

Positive psychology helps one appreciate life by acknowledging its positive qualities and finding happiness in what one has got. The positive attributes include happiness, well-being, satisfaction, etc. These aspects of life are emphasized to build confidence and persona. But this is not all.

What Is Psychotherapy?

In simple terms, psychotherapy could be defined as talk therapy. A therapy that is used in the treatment of psychological problems and mental disorders. 

When you seek out a professional therapist with whom you have regular therapy sessions where you talk about anything and everything and receive complete attention and support with substantial advice is what psychotherapy is. 

Psychotherapy is beneficial in helping a person change their behavioral thinking and emotional reaction patterns, get a positive outlook on things, and lead a better life.  

Techniques of Psychotherapy

There are several techniques and variations of psychotherapy, each with its unique approach. The method of psychotherapy that's suitable for you depends on individual conditions or situations. Some ways work better than others in treating specific diseases and disorders. In many cases, therapists may use a combination of techniques and approaches.

Frequently asked questions

The most widely used psychotherapy is Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy (CBT), and the second most popular is Psychodynamic therapy.
Psychotherapy is very beneficial in bringing out a positive behavioral change in a person. It helps help an individual live a healthy and happy life.
There are no harmful effects of psychotherapy on any individual. Sometimes, people may have bad experiences with a particular therapist, so you must choose the most suitable therapist, but it is no fault of the treatment.

Although many types of therapies exist, here's a list of some of the most extensively used psychotherapy techniques proven to be effective:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you identify negative and unhealthy beliefs and behaviors and replace them with positive ones.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): CBT teaches behavioral skills to help you cope with and handle stress, manage your emotions, and improve your interpersonal relationships with others.
  • Humanistic therapy: It is a type of therapy where the therapist shows complete acceptance and encouragement to the person going through the condition, which helps the client see themselves positivelyhoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies: focus on increasing your awareness of unconscious emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and help you develop new insights into your underlying motivations and resolve internal conflicts.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy: helps you become aware of, reflect, and accept your thoughts and feelings and commit to improving, increasing your ability to cope with and adjust to any situation.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy: focuses on addressing challenges with your current relationships with people around you to improve your interpersonal skills and how you relate to others, including your family, friends, or colleagues.
  • Supportive psychotherapy: encourages you and reinforces your ability to cope with stress and challenging situations.

Types of Psychotherapy 

There are four widely used types of psychotherapy:

  • Individual psychotherapy: This is the most common type of psychotherapy. It is where the client and the therapist have one-on-one sessions in a safe and controlled environment. 
  • Couples psychotherapy: In this type of therapy, two individuals go together as partners and work on themselves and their relationship. 
  • Family psychotherapy: When a few members of the family or the whole family go together for therapy to improve their family dynamics, it is called family psychotherapy. 
  • Group psychotherapy: A group of people with similar problems come together for therapy. They tend to work with each other under the assistance of the therapist. 

Effectiveness of Psychotherapy 

There have been decades of research and numerous studies that have helped develop Psychology and Psychotherapy. General studies show that 80% of the people who try psychotherapy have seen positive results and improvements. 

It is also worth noting that psychotherapy can be just as effective as medications and drugs used to treat mental disorders. Furthermore, psychotherapy has longer-lasting effects than that medications. 

There are also no side-effects of psychotherapy, like there is a possibility with medicines and drugs. Psychotherapy has pure and practical benefits for individuals trying to be a better version of themselves. 

What Can Psychotherapy Help With?

Psychotherapy comes in various forms, but each is designed to help people overcome emotional and mental challenges, develop coping skills, and lead happier and healthier lives.

Suppose you are experiencing or suffering from symptoms of a psychological disorder. In that case, you might benefit from an evaluation by a qualified psychotherapist to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions.

Psychotherapy is practiced to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as: 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Addiction
  • Substance use disorder

In addition, psychotherapy has resulted in being helpful to help people cope with the following:

  • Divorce and break-ups
  • Grief or loss
  • Insomnia
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress
  • Chronic pain or serious illnesses
  • Low self-esteem

Psychotherapy Benefits

Psychotherapy is often more reasonable and affordable than other types of therapies. It is also considered a viable option for those who don't mainly require psychotropic medication.

People can reap the possible abounding benefits of psychotherapy even if they feel that something is off in their life. Their condition can be improved by consulting with a mental health expert.

Notable benefits of psychotherapy include:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Healthier thinking patterns
  • Greater awareness of negative thoughts
  • More significant insights about yourself and your life
  • Improved ability to make healthier choices
  • Better coping skills to manage stress
  • Stronger relationships

How to Get the Most Out of Psychotherapy

Several factors affect the efficacy of psychotherapy, and a lot of it depends on how you follow. By following the steps below, get the most out of your therapy and make it a success.

  • Acceptance

The first step in fixing a problem is always acknowledging that there is a problem. Recognizing that you need to get some help and accepting it is a big step one needs to take if one wants to get better. 

  • Be open and honest

The success of your treatment depends on your willingness to share your feelings, thoughts, and experiences and to be open to new ideas, insights, and ways of doing things. Inform your therapist if you feel reluctant to talk about specific issues because of harrowing memories, emotions, fears, or embarrassment about your therapist's reaction.

  • Approach therapy as a partnership

Psychotherapy is most effective when you are an active participant giving your opinion and sharing in decision-making. Ensure you and your therapist agree about the major issues and how to tackle them. Together, you can set reasonable goals and gradually measure progress over time.

  • Don't expect instant results.

Working on emotional issues can be highly triggering and painful and may require much hard work and commitment. You will not become a better version of yourself just after doing one session. You may need several sessions before you begin to see some improvement.

  • Stick to your treatment plan.

If you lack motivation or feel down, it may seem tempting to skip your therapy sessions. But doing so can disrupt your entire progress. Try to attend all of your sessions sincerely and dedicatedly.

Also, read

Bottom line from Practical Anxiety Solutions

Psychotherapy can be helpful for individuals who are experiencing mental health issues. Still, it also benefits those wanting to learn new coping skills or better understand their thoughts and experiences.

If you want to try psychotherapy, you can start by talking to your regular physician about your options. Referrals from friends or family, referral services, or online therapist directories are also great ways to find a psychotherapist that is the right fit for you.