Psychotherapy is a general term that is used to describe the process of treating psychological disorders and mental distress by the use of verbal and psychological techniques. During this process, a trained psychotherapist helps the client tackle specific or general problems such as a particular mental illness or a source of life stress.
Depending on the approach used by the therapist, a wide range of techniques and strategies can be used. However, almost all types of psychotherapy involve developing a therapeutic relationship, communicating and creating a dialogue, and working to overcome problematic thoughts or behaviors.
Psychotherapy is increasingly viewed as a distinct profession in its own right, but many different types of professionals engage in psychotherapy regularly. Such individuals include clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, mental health counselors, and psychiatric nurses.
How do I know if I need Psychotherapy
While you might realize that psychotherapy can help with life's problems, it can sometimes be difficult to seek help or to even recognize when it is time to talk to a professional.
One key thing to remember is that the sooner you seek assistance, the sooner you will start to experience relief. Instead of waiting until your symptoms get out of control, you should consider getting help as soon as you start to recognize that there might be a problem.
Some key signs that it might be time to see a psychotherapist include:
The issue is causing significant distress or disruption in your life. If you feel that the problem you are facing interrupts a number of important areas of your life including school, work, and relationships, it may be time to see if psychotherapy can help.
You are relying on unhealthy or dangerous coping mechanisms. If you find yourself dealing with your problem by smoking, drinking, overeating, or taking out your frustrations on others, seeking assistance can help you find healthier and more beneficial coping strategies.
Friends and family are concerned about your well-being. If it has reached a point where other people are worried about your emotional health, it may be time to see if psychotherapy can improve your psychological state.
Nothing you have tried so far has helped. You've read self-help books, explored some techniques you read about online, or even tried just ignoring the problem, yet things just seem to be staying the same or even getting worse. Just remember that you don't have to wait until your problems become so overwhelming that coping seems impossible. Help is available and the sooner you reach out, the sooner you'll be back on track to a healthier, happier state of mind.