What is Psychotherapy?
When people hear the word psychotherapy it's not uncommon for them to have a mental image of someone lying on a couch in an office, talking to a distant figure in the background.
Some aspects of this image are accurate: psychotherapy is one of a group of therapeutic approaches focussed around talking. The client and psychotherapist talk to each other, exploring the past, present, and future. They determine unproductive or negative thoughts and messages, and create positive replacements that will help to eliminate undesirable behaviours.
In these therapy sessions, which typically span several months or longer, the therapist works with the client to understand their specific challenges or problems and helps develop personalised, individual coping mechanisms to bring about change. It's important to note that the therapist does not control or direct the conversation, but works with the client.
It is also possible to combine medical treatment, medication or other types of therapy with psychotherapy, and this is not uncommon in the treatment of more complex mental health disorders.
The patient and the therapist plan out session scheduling together and over the course of continuing sessions will develop a close professional rapport. This is an essential part of the process, with conversations often becoming very personal and emotional. The ability to create this sense of trust is critical; in psychotherapy, the confidentiality and privacy of discussions allows for an open exchange of thoughts, experiences and reflections.
What is Psychotherapy Used For?
Psychotherapy or talking therapy is used in the treatment of many types of problems and challenges faced by individuals. Some are specifically diagnosed conditions such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety or trauma. Other people may seek treatment through psychotherapy for relationships or coping issues, managing chronic health conditions, or for dealing with the death of a loved one.
The specific type of therapy used will be selected by the therapist, based on their understanding of the client. Our approach to therapy is either holistic or integrated, which allows us to best suit a treatment method to the individual. An holistic approach means we do not treat symptoms as isolated problems; instead, we focus on the whole person and his or her mental health and wellbeing.
There are several types of therapies that can be described as psychotherapy. Perhaps the best known is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This focuses on changing how you think about specific issues, to create new behaviours that are positive and helpful, rather than destructive or negative. An integrative approach offers other options, including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and even the use of Art Therapy. In addition, psychoanalysis allows for significant exploration of how past experiences and thoughts or feelings are limiting self-awareness around specific behaviours and thought patterns.
These approaches to psychotherapy are central to the services we provide at Mayfair Online Therapy. All of these options are also available in a way that allows people to stay safely in their home; all they need to work with a therapist is a private space and reliable internet connection.
About Analytical Psychology