What is Psychotherapy and How Does it Work?

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological techniques by a trained psychotherapist to help clients overcome their problems associated with mental illness and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy is effective at helping clients cope with loss, daily life, mental disorders, and more. There are several different types of psychotherapy. Different therapies are used for different people based on their illness and circumstances. The following are the six major times of psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


CBT involves helping people change their unwanted thoughts or behaviors. CBT works by changing the client’s attitudes and behaviors by looking at how their cognitive processes (thoughts and beliefs) relate to the way they behave. This can lead to lasting improvements in the client’s mood and ability to function.


CBT starts with the psychotherapist and client working together to understand the client’s problems. Then they work on developing new strategies for tackling them. The client can use these techniques whenever they need to throughout their lifetime. CBT effectively treats a wide range of issues, such as relationship problems, trauma-related disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression.


Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)


IPT helps clients understand troublesome underlying interpersonal issues. IPT focuses on the client and their relationships with others and is based on the idea that relationships are the center of psychological problems. IPT is most commonly used for depression. The goal of IPT is to help the client communicate better with others and address problems that contribute to their depression.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)


DBT is a specific type of CBT. DBT aids clients in regulating their emotions and decreasing conflicts in their relationships. Most commonly DBT is used for clients with a borderline personality disorder. DBT focuses on providing clients with therapeutic techniques in four areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT works by helping individuals find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once. This allows the client to avoid all-or-nothing styles of thinking and embrace acceptance and change.


Psychodynamic Therapy


Psychodynamic therapy is based on the idea that behavior and mental well-being are influenced by our early life experiences and unconscious repetitive thoughts. This works by helping clients improve their self-awareness and alter their old thinking patterns. The goals of this therapy are to alleviate obvious symptoms and help the client live a happier and healthier life.




Psychoanalysis is a rigorous variation of psychodynamic therapy. This is used on clients who have had psychological troubles for a long time, often since childhood, and requires frequent sessions. Psychoanalysis is based on the assumption that psychological problems are rooted in the unconscious mind. Treatment focuses on bringing the repressed conflict to the consciousness where the client can deal with it. This allows the clients to addresses repressed emotions and experiences and healing them through a cathartic experience.


Supportive Therapy


Supportive therapy helps clients create their own resources with the help of their psychotherapist. This allows clients to gain self-esteem while giving them coping skills, alleviating anxiety, and improving their social functioning. Supportive therapy can be used to help people with various mental health conditions, including depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.


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