What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a type of mental health treatment that usually revolves around talking. In most cases, psychotherapy sessions are done face-to-face with a trained therapist.

The focus of this treatment is to gain insight into your long-standing physical and emotional problems. This insight helps guide the psychotherapy sessions so you and your therapist can work towards improving your mental health.

By focusing on your thought processes and how these may be influenced by past events, your therapist can help you train your mind to deal with certain behaviours, impulses, beliefs and emotions that are currently causing you problems. Over time, these psychotherapy sessions will ultimately improve your quality of life by bettering your social interactions and relationships with others.

Psychotherapy can be used to treat many different types of mental health conditions, including, but not limited to:


What are the different types of psychotherapy?

There are different types of psychotherapy. The type that is most suitable for you will depend on your individual needs. There are also different methods and techniques a trained therapist may use to achieve the desired outcome from the sessions. The methods and techniques they use depends on the condition they are treating, and how they have been trained.

Although most psychotherapy sessions involve talking face-to-face, some sessions can also include music, art or movement.

Female therapist sitting in with her patient during a therapy session taking notes.

Do I need to take medication whilst doing psychotherapy?

You do not have to take medication whilst you are doing psychotherapy. However, usually, psychotherapy is practiced whilst someone is already taking medication, but in some cases it is used as an alternative to medication.

A mental health professional might start a person on medication to help with their symptoms but also recommend psychotherapy to address more specific issues. 


Who can benefit from psychotherapy?

Anyone who is of any age can benefit from this treatment! There is a vast range of conditions and issues that can be treated with psychotherapy, including, but not limited to:

  • Mental health problems 
  • Family problems
  • Personal development 
  • Struggles with day-to-day life

Psychotherapy can also benefit people who struggle with emotional issues such as:

If there is a part of your day-to-day life which causes you overwhelming emotional stress for whatever reason, you can most likely benefit from psychotherapy to help you cope with these issues and improve your overall wellbeing.

Young man in a psychotherapy session with her therapist.

What does a psychotherapy session involve?

Depending on your individual needs, a session can either be held:

  • In-person with a therapist face-to-face
  • With family members or a partner
  • Within a group setting
  • On the telephone
  • Online over the internet

During the session, your therapist may explore and probe into your feelings and behaviours. They do this so that they can get a better understanding of the emotional states that may be causing your current issues. Your therapist may ask you to talk in depth about events in your past, and they may ask you to express your feelings.

Over time, your therapist will use different techniques to help you identify different ways to cope. They will create a supportive environment where you can work together to try to alter the way you process your thoughts and emotions.


How many psychotherapy sessions do I need?

There isn’t a fixed number of sessions that you must have. The amount of sessions you need really depends on your individual needs, and what you are hoping to achieve from psychotherapy.

Sessions will usually run over a long period of time like months to years. However some sessions can also be done over a shorter period depending on how complex your needs are, and which techniques are being used by the therapist.

Free Online Psychotherapy Course

This course is currently only available for adults. You must be over the age of 18 to take the course.

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