A deeper look into the world of psychotherapy, focusing on types of therapy, the psychotherapy process, and how treatment can improve your life.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, often called talk therapy, is one treatment technique used to help people with mental health conditions and other emotional disorders. Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for several different types of therapeutic techniques, which will be discussed in more detail below.
In order to help promote your well-being and healing process, therapists can help you work through problems ranging from trauma to mental illnesses to struggles in your daily routine. Psychotherapy can also be used in conjunction with pharmaceutical medication and lifestyle changes.
What are the different kinds of psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is divided into several different subcategories. These subcategories allow medical professionals to better differentiate between treatment options. They also make it easier to combine aspects of different approaches to find the best solution for your needs. Some of the most common subcategories of psychotherapy are:
Remember that some therapists specialize in certain areas. If you have some idea of what treatment option(s) may work best for you, seek a mental health professional who can work with you in that area.
When should I consider psychotherapy?
You may be reluctant to try out psychotherapy because of some of the common misconceptions. However, once you overcome your initial apprehension, you’ll discover the benefits of therapy in improving your quality of life. If you feel overwhelmed, unable to focus, consumed by one or more mental health conditions, or are engaging in negative thought cycles or behaviors, it may be time to take the leap and consider psychotherapy.
How does psychotherapy work?
The exact nature of each therapy session depends on the issues you’d like to discuss, the patient-doctor relationship, and any other individual needs. Generally, psychotherapy is most effective when sessions are held at least once a week, for 30 minutes to an hour. However, you’ll need to speak to your mental health professional to lay out a treatment plan ideal for your life.
Some patients benefit most from short-term therapy, while others need a long-term solution to help with ongoing events. Therapy may also be conducted in an individual or group setting, depending on your needs. Remember that therapy is also confidential, so you can enjoy peace of mind with a therapist you trust.
Will psychotherapy improve my mental health?
Scientific studies have shown that around three-quarters of those who enter psychotherapy show marked improvement in managing their symptoms. There is even evidence that psychotherapy can cause physical changes in your brain, alleviating the negative impact of your condition(s). For best results, you should always follow your prescribed treatment plan and be as honest as possible with your mental health professional.
Who do you see for psychotherapy?
The psychologists who specialize in psychotherapy are highly trained individuals. They may come from slightly different backgrounds, however. You can choose to see a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a psychologist trained in mental health at the doctoral level (PhD or PsyD), a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), or a psychiatrist (MD, DO).
In order to locate a trained mental health professional near you, you’ll want to do extensive research. It may also be a good idea to contact any friends or family members who can provide recommendations. One additional option to consider is online telehealth services. Online therapy allows you to conduct sessions from the comfort of your own home without being restricted to the mental health professionals in your geographic area.
How does psychotherapy work with medication?
Psychotherapy and medication are often used together to help treat mental health disorders. However, your treatment path will depend on your needs and goals. For some patients, psychotherapy alone may deliver results, while others may need to combine therapy with a pharmaceutical approach in order to achieve improvement.
It’s also important to note that along with psychotherapy and medication, lifestyle changes can have an incredibly positive impact on a patient’s life. When you are well-rested and properly nourished, you can better aid your body and mind in the healing process.
Will insurance cover psychotherapy?
This is a very common question that, unfortunately, doesn't have a straightforward answer. Most health insurance plans cover psychotherapy services to some degree. However, the exact scope of coverage will depend on your specific plan, the doctor you choose to visit, the type of therapy you undergo, and many other factors. You will need to contact your insurance company to gain a more accurate understanding of what is included in your coverage. Then, you’ll be able to weigh your options and determine how much you’ll pay out-of-pocket and how much of your treatment will be covered by insurance.