The time to rethink therapy is now. Mental health treatment doesn’t mean passively lying on the couch talking while your therapist sits and writes notes. Instead, psychotherapy — or talk therapy — is engaging and tailored to meet your needs.
You may wonder how psychotherapy works. Psychotherapy is an evidence-based approach to several mental health disorders. People use psychotherapy to define a general process to address harmful thoughts, behaviors, or emotions. While in psychotherapy sessions, your therapist will engage you in verbal and psychological techniques. Your therapy sessions focus on a specific mental health disorder or a stressor in your life.
Your mental health diagnosis determines the type of talk therapy you will receive. This is because there are a wide variety of strategies used to address your specific type of mental health issue. Yet, regardless of your diagnosis, every type of psychotherapy is based on a client-therapist relationship. A healthy therapeutic relationship includes open communication, trust, a healthy dialogue, and working together to overcome harmful thoughts or behaviors.
The field of psychotherapy is considered a separate category in mental health approaches. For this reason, you need to undergo talk therapy with a certified therapist. Therefore, before you begin psychotherapy, make sure your therapist is a licensed expert in their field.
Reasons to Seek Psychotherapy
There are several reasons why people reach out for help with their mental health. If you have any doubts about the cause of physical or emotional issues, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out potential health issues. A wellness check appointment can determine if therapy could help your physical and emotional health.
You can schedule an appointment with a professionally trained therapist and your doctor. Appointments with a therapist and a doctor can identify and focus on physical and mental health issues. Some reasons to seek help from a doctor or a psychotherapist are:
- Severe or long-term stress: You may experience pressure from your job, the loss of a loved one, family problems, or relationship issues.
- Health issues that don’t have physical explanations: These symptoms can include loss of appetite, sleep, decreased energy, hopelessness, or a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
- Your doctor can diagnose a mental health disorder: When you see your doctor, they may suspect you have or diagnose you with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues.
Most doctors who suspect you have or diagnosed you with a mental health disorder will recommend you go to a therapist. Once a psychotherapist diagnoses a mental health disorder, you can discuss treatment.
Forms of Psychotherapy
The style or type of psychotherapy you receive depends on your therapist’s treatment style or the type you need. However, you will receive one of these forms of therapy:
- Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions with your therapist
- Couples therapy: Relational therapy for you and your significant other where you work with a therapist together to identify and address damaging behaviors
- Family therapy: Similar to couples therapy in that it focuses on improving your relationship with loved ones
- Group therapy: Involves receiving support from a group of people who are working toward building healthy outcomes for common goals
All forms of psychotherapy include various elements. Some of these elements are:
- Ways to help you become aware of how your thoughts and behaviors can damage your self-confidence
- Learning to identify and cope with stress by creating healthy problem-solving and coping strategies
- Journaling your behaviors and emotions to help you connect how each affects the other
Within these forms of therapy are specific approaches for certain types of mental health diagnoses. In addition, each psychotherapy technique focuses on helping you learn healthy coping skills.
The distinct form of psychotherapy used in your therapy sessions is tailored to meet your unique needs. Two psychotherapy techniques often used in sessions include CBT and DBT.
#1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on replacing negative thoughts and behaviors with healthy alternatives. Psychotherapists often use CBT when they diagnose the following:
- Anxiety disorders: Therapists can combine CBT with medication therapy to help with anxiety.
- Bipolar disorder: CBT helps those with bipolar disorder learn to identify and change destructive behaviors and emotions. Often, CBT is combined with medication. Your therapist may also decide on using other treatment options to increase the benefits of CBT. Some possibilities are trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), exercise, and proper nutrition.
#2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) evolved from CBT. DBT aims to teach you how to live in the present and build healthy coping skills for stress and emotional upheaval. Psychotherapists developed DBT to address borderline personality disorder (BPD). Over time, DBT evolved and is used to benefit those with:
- Eating disorders
- Self-harm behaviors
- Treatment-resistant depression
- Substance use disorder (SUD)
Psychotherapy is a healthy process that can help you identify and learn how to use healthy coping skills for your mental health diagnosis.
Psychotherapy is an integral part of your goal to build a healthier life. For talk therapy to work, you should have open, honest conversations with your therapist about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Throughout your sessions, stay true to who you are while allowing yourself to feel your emotions. You can be open to the process without losing yourself. You can work toward your goals when you let go of emotions like stress, grief, depression, or anxiety. Finding healthy ways to move toward your future is possible with the support of the therapists at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute. Our program incorporates evidence-based therapies like TMS, CBT, and DBT with holistic treatments. Your mental and physical health can begin to heal through our comprehensive care programs. We want you to develop the skills necessary to live the life you deserve.
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Contact our admissions team to learn how Crownview can help you or your loved one.