What is Psychotherapy ?

Psychotherapy is a general term for the process of treating mental health, emotional or behavioral issues by talking with a psychologist or other mental health provider.

Psychotherapy is also known as counseling, talk therapy or simply therapy. Psychotherapy is offered in different formats including individual, couple, family or group therapy sessions, and it can be effective for all age groups.

What kind of conditions can psychotherapy help with?

  • addictions (such as alcoholism, drug dependence or compulsive gambling)
  • anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder, phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia)
  • mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  • personality disorders (such as dependent or obsessive-compulsive personality)
  • severe mental illness (such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders)

Can psychotherapy be used for other things?

Yes, psychotherapy can help with a number of life stresses whether large or small. Such issues may include:

  • Coping with major life changes such as a divorce, loss of a loved one or loss of a job
  • Dealing with chronic pain or a serious health condition
  • Help recovering from physical or sexual abuse
  • Learning how to reduce anxiety or stress
  • Learning to cope better with difficult situations
  • Resolving relationship conflicts with family or others in your life

What about medication?

In many cases, psychotherapy can be as effective as medication, such as antidepressants or medication for anxiety. Depending on your specific situation and the level of distress present, psychotherapy by itself may not be enough to ease your symptoms and you might need to consult with your primary care physician or a psychiatrist.