Understanding Psychotherapy: What it Is & How It Works

Understanding Psychotherapy: What it Is & How It Works


Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the most important tools we have to deal with our mental health. It can help us understand our thoughts and feelings, and learn how to cope with difficult situations. It can also help us address and resolve underlying issues that may be causing problems in our lives.

Although different people will respond differently to different forms of psychotherapy, in most cases, talking with a trained therapist will enable you to explore your problems more thoroughly and help you find new ways of looking at things. And, in some cases, psychotherapy may also be able to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that is used to help people heal their mental health. It can help people to deal with things like anxiety, depression, and other issues. It can be useful to get psychotherapy when you are struggling with mental health issues, or it can also be helpful to receive psychotherapy when your mental health is better.

There are many different types of psychotherapy, and most of them work similarly. They all involve talking to a trained psychotherapist about your problems and discussing how you feel. Psychotherapy can help you deal with your problems, understand them better, and feel better.

So how does psychotherapy work?

What to expect from mental health services?

In psychotherapy, you can expect to work with a therapist to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The therapist will aim to help you understand yourself better and provide support as you work through challenges in your life. Therapy may also involve homework assignments or other activities meant to help you apply what you learn in therapy to your everyday life.

Depending on the problem, symptoms, and goals for therapy, treatment may last from several weeks to several months. In some cases, it may last longer. It’s important to keep in mind that most people find that they get better within a few weeks of starting therapy, but many continue to benefit from treatment for months or years after they stop going to weekly sessions.

Who can benefit from psychotherapy?

Many people believe that psychotherapy sessions are only for people who are struggling with mental illness. However, this is not the case. Psychotherapy can be beneficial for anyone who wants to explore their thoughts and feelings, learn how to better manage stress, or work through a difficult life event. The goal of seeing a therapist l is to improve your ability to manage your emotions and behavior. This can help you better relate to others, solve problems more effectively, and have a richer and more satisfying life.

People who have had a lot of experience with one or more of the following issues may find that talk therapy is helpful:

  • People who are struggling with mental illness problems like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress-related problems, or personality disorders.
  • People who are struggling with relationship issues
  • People who are having trouble dealing with the death of a loved one.
  • People who are dealing with family problems
  • People who are fighting addiction
  • People who are struggling with career issues
  • People who are facing sudden life changes

Types of psychotherapy

There are several different types of psychotherapy. The most common forms of psychotherapy include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people understand and change the thoughts and behaviors that affect their moods and overall mental health. CBT is a highly effective treatment for a variety of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction.

During CBT sessions, clients work with a therapist to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their symptoms. They also learn healthy coping skills and problem-solving strategies to help them respond differently to stressful or troubling thoughts and feelings. The therapist works with the client to set goals and complete worksheets that track their progress and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

CBT typically takes place throughout many sessions, with most patients seeing their therapist once or twice per week. Most patients will complete therapy within six to eight weeks. Relapse prevention is a key element of CBT. Before each session, therapists and patients review the issues that caused the patient to relapse. A typical CBT session will generally last an hour and a half, and the sessions are usually held on a weekly basis.

The effectiveness of CBT has been supported by numerous randomized controlled trials. A 2015 Cochrane review, based on nine trials with a total of 1, 836 participants, found moderate-to-large effect sizes of around 0. 75 on improvement in psychological well-being and reduction in symptoms severity.

On the other hand, there is some evidence that CBT for patients with only one prior episode of depression does not provide benefits beyond those produced by treatment as usual.

Interpersonal therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationships between people. IPT helps people to understand and manage the relationships that affect their mental health. IPT can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

IPT focuses on underlying patterns of interpersonal problems, rather than just on symptoms. It emphasizes the unique contribution of each relationship to health and well-being.

The goal of IPT is for patients to change their patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to relationships with others. Insight-oriented therapy focuses on helping patients recognize patterns of dysfunctional thinking and behavior. In these therapies, patients learn to identify problems and solve them by themselves. Structured interviews are used to identify the nature and number of relationships that are important to the patient.

Patients are also encouraged to explore their family history, including the circumstances of childhood relationships and experiences. Behavioral experiments can be used to reinforce healthy relationship patterns. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of change and how to optimize those mechanisms in order to provide the most effective treatment.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the unconscious mind and the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are affected by our unconscious thoughts and memories.

Psychodynamic therapy aims to help people become aware of their unconscious thoughts and memories. To then understand how they are affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Psychodynamic therapy is typically more time-consuming than CBT. And, it can be a more challenging treatment for children and adolescents.

But, it can help you identify the roots of troubling thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. And then begin to challenge those unhelpful patterns. This may include a re-evaluation of past experiences, thoughts, and relationships. It can also involve changing unhelpful beliefs and the expression of these beliefs. In CBT, you are trained to identify and challenge your unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. And you learn how to replace these with more helpful and adaptive ways of thinking and behaving.

In psychodynamic therapy, this is typically done with a trained mental health professional. The therapist will help you to explore the thoughts and memories that are causing distress. They will help you to identify patterns and fix faulty thinking.

Family therapy

Family therapy is a form of therapy that is used to treat families who are experiencing problems. It is used to help family members communicate better with each other and resolve any problems that they may be experiencing.

Therapy of this kind can be used to treat a wide variety of problems, including but not limited to, communication problems, substance abuse, and behavioral problems. The term “family therapy” can refer to individual psychotherapy, which is also sometimes called “psychological family therapy”.

Family therapy refers to a variety of different techniques used in the treatment of mental and behavioral disorders by members of the family of a person with such a disorder. These techniques are often aimed at improving communication within the family and between the family and the treating professionals.

There is a lot of overlap between family therapy and marriage therapy, but there are some key differences. Family therapy typically includes all members of the family, while marriage therapy typically focuses on the couple. Family therapy can be helpful for families with issues such as addiction, mental illness, or communication problems. Marriage therapy can be helpful for couples who are struggling with issues such as communication problems, infidelity, or parenting disagreements.

Group therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves a small group of people who meet regularly to share their thoughts and feelings. It can be helpful for people who feel isolated or who want to learn more about themselves and their relationships with others. In this type of therapy, people can explore their feelings and get support from others who are going through similar experiences. Group therapy might be useful if you:

  • Are struggling with a major life transition, such as graduating from college or moving to a new city.
  • Have low self-esteem or depression.
  • Want to share your thoughts and feelings with others going through similar experiences.

Group therapy sessions help people process the feelings that they’re struggling with. During the therapy sessions, the person helping the patient, or the psychologist, is there to guide the process and make sure it goes smoothly.

How often do I need to go to group therapy?

Most people need to see a mental health professional at least twice a week for several months to feel better. But how much you go every day and when you go are up to you.

Online therapy

Online therapy is a form of therapy that is conducted over the internet. It allows people to access therapy sessions from the comfort of their own home, without having to leave their community or travel to see a therapist in person.

Online therapy has a number of benefits, including being accessible at any time, making it more affordable than in-person therapy, and being anonymous. Online therapy can be beneficial for anyone with depression. This kind of therapy is especially useful if you have other medical conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, and cannot attend in-person sessions or if you are constantly traveling.

The major types of online counseling include:

  • E-mail counseling. E-mail messages are sent to your inbox daily at a specific time. A trained counselor reviews your answers to previous questions and provides feedback on your responses.
  • Online therapy through a video call. Your therapist’s office becomes the “video call” room. This service is ideal for people who can’t visit their therapist in person, but who still need help.
  • Online therapy groups. You can find a therapy group on Facebook or Google Plus, among other sites. These are ideal for people who aren’t comfortable with one-on-one counseling, or who want to be part of a community of others going through similar struggles.

Other types of psychotherapy

There are many other types of psychotherapy, including but not limited to:

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of CBT that incorporates aspects of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The goal of DBT is to teach people specific skills to help them healthily manage emotions and behaviors. The skills learned in DBT can help people learn healthier ways of thinking and reacting to emotions. These skills help a person become more self-reliant and independent. They also help improve relationships with others.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that combines aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy. This type of psychotherapy helps people overcome stress, anxiety, and other problems related to trauma and the unexpected or uncontrollable nature of symptoms.

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a type of counseling that focuses on helping people identify their own values and objectives. This helps them to develop an action plan to improve their own health. It involves helping clients examine the trade-offs between competing health priorities and helping them understand the context and consequences of their decisions.

Risks and cautions

Psychotherapy cannot always be helpful is due to a lot of factors, such as the severity of the problem, the therapist’s experience and training, and the chemistry between the therapist and client.

Unexpected effects

Some people may experience unforeseen or unwanted effects from psychotherapy. These can include getting overwhelming feelings during the therapy sessions, feeling overly emotional, or feeling like the therapist is pushing too hard. It is important to discuss any concerns with the therapist so that they can be addressed.

It is also important to ensure that the therapist is trained in evidence-based practices, and is able to provide a supportive and nonjudgmental environment.

Unhelpful therapy

There are many ways that psychotherapy can be unhelpful. One way is if the therapist is not qualified or experienced. Another way is if the therapist is not a good fit for the person seeking help. If you find that your therapist does not seem to be helping, you can try switching therapists or finding another treatment plan.

For instance, if you are in therapy for depression and don’t see progress, you might seek counseling from a psychologist who is trained to treat mental health problems.

Even if you do not find a therapist who works well with you, it’s important to keep seeing them so you can get the mental health care you need.

Cost in time and money

Psychotherapy can be a great investment in your mental health. It provides relief from symptoms of mental illness, helps you understand yourself better, and improves your relationships. However, the cost and time commitment may be prohibitive for some people.

A single psychotherapy session can be expensive and time-consuming if you are seeking help from a licensed therapist. In some rare cases, therapy can be covered by insurance, but in others, you may have to pay out of pocket. Sessions with a therapist typically last for around 50 minutes, and many people find that they need to attend therapy once or twice a week to see results. Which represents a huge commitment.

Psychotherapy can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment

One potential danger of psychotherapy is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. For example, someone who is struggling with depression may hope that therapy will cure them overnight. However, most forms of psychotherapy require time and effort on the part of the person seeking treatment in order to be effective.

If someone is not patient and does not put in the necessary work, they may not see the results they were hoping for.

It is important to remember that change does not happen overnight. Sometimes people see results after months or even years of therapy. However, for some people, psychotherapy may not be a viable option.

There is no guarantee of success

There is no guarantee of success in psychotherapy. However, research has shown that most people who receive psychotherapy benefit from it. About 75% of people who receive psychotherapy find that it improves their quality of life, 66% stop using alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes,80% achieve a reduction in symptoms, and about 90% achieve improvement. It is also important to remember that different forms of psychotherapy may be more effective for different people.

Where to find a Psychotherapist in Long Beach?

Psychotherapy is available at TIER Wellness, 6695 Pacific Coast Hwy Suite 250, Long Beach, CA 90803. Monday through Saturday.

To Learn More or to Schedule an Appointment, Call Us Today at our Long Beach office ( 562) – 430-8501.

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