Everyone has problems that they are not entirely able to handle on their own; some people end up breaking down, while others may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Fortunately, mental health awareness is now more widespread than ever. In light of the ongoing pandemic, many people have started to appreciate the importance of maintaining a healthy mind and are now embracing the practice of psychotherapy. Psychotherapists specialize in helping clients see, think, and feel more clearly, depending on the particular technique implemented. They treat a range of general and specific problems, from a distressed mind to far more serious psychological disorders. Here are some important things that you need to know about psychotherapy.
Types of Psychotherapy
If you are considering trying out psychotherapy for the first time, you may expect to walk into a dimly lit room, lie down on a couch, and start talking as your therapist takes notes in their notepad. However, this image is far from reality. While this is still a type of psychotherapy known as psychoanalytic therapy, you don’t have to lie down on a couch anymore. Therapists usually discuss with clients what type of therapy they believe is the best fit for their situation.
Psychoanalytic therapy became a formal practice when Sigmund Freud adopted it and other techniques, such as free association and dream interpretation. The psychoanalytic approach is mostly used to understand how a client’s behavior is affected by unconscious thoughts, memories, and feelings. The client and the therapist work together to unlock the client’s unconscious mind by going into their past experiences and thoughts.
Behavioral therapy is another type of therapy, and it is based on the notion of conditioning. It works on changing a client’s undesirable behavior by using classical conditioning, social learning, and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning aims to trigger a natural stimulus by associating it with an environmental stimulus, while operant conditioning associates a good or bad consequence with a certain behavior.
The therapist, in this case, operates by showing unconditional positive regard to their client. This helps raise their self-esteem and optimize their potential. It allows the client to learn about self-actualization, free will, and self-exploration. The humanistic approach is a client-centered type of therapy.
Cognitive therapy is applied to deal with unwanted thoughts, such as seeing only the negative aspects of every situation, therefore becoming pessimistic. The client and the therapist work to recognize the distorted thought patterns that result in these ideas. Then, they work on switching out the thoughts for more positive and sensible ones.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is mostly used to treat addiction, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, and depression. It helps clients understand how their behaviors are influenced by their thoughts and feelings. It teaches them when to cut out problematic thought patterns and change dysfunctional behavior.
Before Seeing a Psychotherapist
When you are selecting a therapist, you should look into their qualifications and years of experience. Find out whether they are experienced in handling issues similar to yours; for example, it’s not a good idea to see a therapist specializing in couples therapy if you need help managing your anxiety. You should also keep in mind that psychiatrists are not psychotherapists; psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medications.
In many areas, like Perth, Australia, therapists are obliged to protect their client’s confidentiality unless they pose a threat to themselves or others. It is common for psychotherapy providers, including the experts at Energetics Institute, to offer a wide range of treatment options like psychotherapy, counseling, relationship counseling, and CBT. Regardless of whether you choose to see a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, counselor, advanced psychiatric nurse, or social worker, you should always make sure that they are licensed and experienced in dealing with situations like yours.
Do you Need Psychotherapy?
Many people deprive themselves of proper therapy because they believe that they are not ill or suffering enough. However, it’s important to realize that everyone deserves help. If mental health issues are disrupting your life and causing you clear distress, you should seek help. Relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms is also a sign that you might benefit from psychotherapy. If your family and friends show concern regarding your well-being, and if you feel like nothing you have done has helped you regain control over your life, you should consider reaching out for help.
There are many types of psychotherapy that different therapists offer in different situations. The type of therapy a patient ultimately settles on depends on how they respond to treatment, what their therapist believes is most prudent, and how comfortable they are with the various options. In this manner, individuals can obtain the most suitable type of help for themselves and their particular situation.