Psychotherapy is a broad field that seeks to use therapy, rather than medication, to treat mental health conditions. It’s used to help patients with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, addictions, eating disorders, personality disorders, and more. It is even sometimes used to help patients with issues that aren’t directly related to their mental health, such as overcoming conflicts, getting through major life changes, recovering from abuse, managing sexual problems, and similar struggles.
Within psychotherapy, there are several different approaches. A few of the more widely used ones include:
People do not need a medical degree to provide psychotherapy. It’s offered by psychiatrists (who do have a medical degree), psychologists, and some other mental health professionals.
Patients who want to explore medical treatment options along with psychotherapy should see a psychiatrist. They’re able to combine psychotherapy with prescription medications. Psychologists and other providers aren’t able to write prescriptions.
While there’s no set timeframe for psychotherapy sessions, most take about as long as a typical counseling session does. Because the therapy requires an extended conversation between the patient and healthcare provider, patients often see their provider for more time than they would spend with a doctor during a routine medical exam. These appointments are still short enough to fit around other obligations that must be attended to throughout a day, though.
Almost anyone can benefit from psychotherapy at some point in their life. It can make major transitions and struggles go more smoothly, and it can help patients who suffer from a variety of afflictions. Patients who aren’t sure whether they’d benefit from therapy sessions should call a provider to schedule a consultation. After meeting with a psychotherapy specialist, patients will have a much better idea of what the treatment method might do for them.