Psychotherapy may sound daunting and vague to anyone who’s never worked with a therapist before. Yet, it simply refers to treatment which uses personal interactions to help a person overcome problems, achieve goals, or generally get them on track to lead the life they want, rather than the one they have. Also referred to as talk therapy, this treatment can help individuals with many types of mental illnesses, emotional difficulties and life changes. . If you’re considering therapy, here’s what you need to know before you go.
A Beginner’s Guide to Psychotherapy
What to Expect from Therapy Sessions
Depending on the reason for visiting, therapy sessions may be conducted in a group, family, couple, or individual setting. Most therapists hold structured sessions with their patients on a weekly basis, and visits may last between 30 and 60 minutes. In addition to traditional one-on-one conversations, therapists may also utilize other communication techniques, such as narrative story. Oftentimes, the course of therapy will last a year or less, as individuals who are eager to change can see positive results quickly. With that said, if you find comfort in continuing therapy, there’s no need to stop sessions altogether. A collaborative therapist will be talking with the client throughout the treatment about what they need, what they want, and if they're achieving what they expected in therapy.
Issues Commonly Treated
Everything from addiction and depression to family disputes can be treated with talk therapy. In addition, anyone who feels overwhelmed by the challenges they’re facing can benefit from psychotherapy. Some of the reasons people may seek out treatment include:
- Feeling on edge or worrying constantly
- A sense that a problem won’t improve-feeling stuck, even with help from friends or family
- Abusing drugs or alcohol in a way that has become disruptive or harmful to oneself or others.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness
- Difficulty in forming meaningful relationships with others
- Recent or unprocessed loss or trauma
- Help with transition through significant life changes
As its name suggests, this form of treatment does not employ the use of medication. Nonetheless, it is possible to use this approach in tandem with medication or other therapies.
Types of Psychotherapy
There are a few types of approaches used in psychotherapy, including:
- Behavioral therapy: This approach assesses what the patient is doing, then aims to help them adopt positive behavioral changes that replace undesirable ones.
- Cognitive therapy: With cognitive therapy, a counselor helps an individual confront unwelcome or unhelpful thoughts to find different views and approaches for handling situations.
- Interpersonal therapy: Focused on an individual’s relationship with others, interpersonal therapy helps someone strengthen skills to improve communication patterns.
There are other types of talk therapy which may be used depending on the nature of the patient’s circumstances, including family and group therapy. The approach used will depend both on the therapist’s area of expertise as well as the unique situations experienced by the patient.
If you’re ready to see the benefits of psychotherapy first hand, turn to Chuck Beardsley LCSW in Mountainside, NJ. As an experienced counselor, Chuck will work with you to take the most effective treatment approach, which may entail motivational interviewing, active listening, or another proven strategy. He specializes in helping individuals through a broad range of challenges, including addiction and recovery. Find out more about his individual therapy services here or schedule an appointment by calling (908) 274-3189.