General Practice 2022

Psychotherapy: what é, what it is for, types and how é done

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Psychotherapy: what é, what it is for, types and how é done
Psychotherapy: what é, what it is for, types and how é done

Psychotherapy is a set of psychological strategies and techniques that can be used in people who seek to deal with their emotions and feelings in a positive way, in addition to reducing and/or treating symptoms, disorders and mental illnesses. According to the objective, there are several types of psychotherapy, but all must be performed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

The duration and type of therapy used will depend on the symptoms, severity of the situation, personal needs and wishes of the person. Often, to help with therapy, pharmacological monitoring by a psychiatrist may also be advised, who may indicate the use of medication.

Psychotherapy is not counseling and does not seek to provide direct answers to personal questions, but rather to develop tools and strategies that help the person to resolve their personal problems and restore psychological and social function.

What is it for

Psychotherapy can be performed on people who do not have any type of psychological disorder, as it can be a good tool to help with conflict resolution, relieve stress and anxiety, face the death of a loved one, if recover from trauma or help with negative feelings caused by the diagnosis of other diseases, such as cancer or diabetes, for example.

However, psychotherapy is also very helpful in treating various mental he alth problems such as:

  • Anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder;
  • Addictions such as alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction, or compulsive gambling;
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia;
  • Personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder;
  • Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

In some cases, psychotherapy can be complemented with psychiatry to prescribe medications that help relieve symptoms of anxiety or depression, for example.

How it's made

Psychotherapy can be done on adults or children and can be done individually or in a group, such as family, co-workers or friends. The number of sessions required should always be indicated by the therapist, based on the symptoms presented and the goals of each person.

Generally, psychotherapy sessions are held in the psychologist or psychiatrist's office and last between 45 to 60 minutes. However, in cases of couple, family or group therapy, this time may vary and reach up to 90 minutes.

In most individual therapies, the person is seated in an armchair facing the therapist, but there are also other types of therapy, such as psychoanalytic therapy, in which the person lies down while the therapist sits behind, side or front.

Types of psychotherapy

There are several types of psychotherapy, depending on the goals and techniques used:

  • Cognitive-behavioral: it consists of changing the person's thinking about a certain situation, with the aim of transforming negative behaviors and feelings;
  • Psychoanalytic: seeks to understand consciousness and unconscious feelings, helping to resolve internal conflicts;
  • Existential-Humanist: seeks personal development and self-fulfillment through human values;
  • Psychodynamics: consists of the idea that behavior and mental well-being are influenced by childhood experiences and inappropriate thoughts or feelings that are in the unconscious;
  • Interpersonal: aims to solve relationship problems, improving the way of dealing with other people;
  • Behavioral dialectics: it is based on teaching ways to resolve the emotions that are harmful to the person.

Psychotherapy can also be divided according to the number of patients being treated, which can be individual, family, couple or group.

There is also psychoeducational psychotherapy, which is aimed especially at people with diseases such as hypertension or diabetes, and which helps people to understand a little more about their illness and how to deal with it.

Why do psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is an important resource in psychology that promotes self-knowledge, improves quality of life and stimulates physical and emotional well-being, helping people to control their emotions and deal better with the environment.

Psychotherapy sessions are always confidential and free from personal judgment, so the person can feel comfortable expressing their feelings without fear of judgment.

Psychotherapy results

The results achieved with psychotherapy depend on the person's commitment to changing the situation that produces their symptoms and discomforts, in addition to the type of therapy they use. Therefore, it is very important that psychotherapy is always guided by a professional in the area, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, who will determine the best type of therapy according to personal goals, as well as the duration of the sessions.

Some factors that prevent a good result from psychotherapy are the person's lack of interest in improving, poor relationship with the therapist, poor technique and the type of psychotherapy used. Therefore, if no results are observed, it is recommended to seek a second professional opinion.

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