Psychotherapy is a type of talking therapy that can often prove useful in treating emotional problems and mental health conditions such as: depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Psychotherapy can help you to understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses, as well as identifying what makes you feel upset, depressed or anxious.
What do psychotherapists do?
A psychotherapist is a mental health professional trained to listen sympathetically to someone’s problems. As well as listening and discussing important issues with you, the psychotherapist can suggest strategies for resolving problems and, if necessary, help you to change your attitudes and behaviour.
Types of psychotherapy
Psychotherapy may be carried out on an individual basis, as part of a group, or with your husband, wife or partner.
There are a number of different types of psychotherapy including:
- cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- person-centred psychotherapy
- humanistic therapy
- psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy
- integrated therapy
- CBT is a form of psychotherapy that retrains a person’s way of thinking to help them to deal with stressful situations.
- Person-centred psychotherapy is a method that encourages you to be as open as possible and to face, and come to terms with, difficult memories, feelings and fears.
- Humanistic therapy, such as Gestalt therapy, involves exploring problems through both talking and action. For example, the ‘empty chair’ technique is a way of allowing you to try out talking to an imaginary person who is sitting opposite you.
- Psychoanalysis is a complex type of psychotherapy that was first developed by the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. A psychoanalytic therapist will encourage you to say exactly what you are thinking, and will try to identify hidden meanings or patterns in what you say that may be contributing to your problems.
- An integrated therapy combines a number of different therapies into a single, integrated approach. For example, cognitive analytic psychotherapy (CAT) is an integrated therapy that uses methods from both CBT and psychoanalysis.
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