Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders. Others have been criticized as pseudoscience.
There are over a thousand different psychotherapy techniques, some being minor variations, while others are based on very different conceptions of psychology, ethics (how to live), or techniques. Most involve one-to-one sessions, between client and therapist, but some are conducted with groups, including families. Psychotherapists may be mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional counselors. Psychotherapists may also come from a variety of other backgrounds, and depending on the jurisdiction may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated (and the term itself may be protected or not).
There are hundreds of psychotherapy approaches or schools of thought. By 1980 there were more than 250; by 1996 more than 450; and at the start of the 21st century there were over a thousand different named psychotherapies—some being minor variations while others are based on very different conceptions of psychology, ethics (how to live) or technique. In practice therapy is often not of one pure type but draws from a number of perspectives and schools—known as an integrative or eclectic approach. The importance of the therapeutic relationship, also known as therapeutic alliance, between client and therapist is often regarded as crucial to psychotherapy. Common factors theory addresses this and other core aspects thought to be responsible for effective psychotherapy. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), a Viennese neurologist who studied with Charcot in 1885, is often considered the father of modern psychotherapy. His methods included analyzing dreams for important insights that lay out of awareness of the dreamer. Other major elements of his methods, which changed throughout the years, included identification of childhood sexuality, the role of anxiety as a manifestation of inner conflict, the differentiation of parts of the psyche (id, ego, superego), transference and countertransference (the patient’s projections onto the therapist, and the therapist’s emotional responses to that). Some of his concepts were too broad to be amenable to empirical testing and invalidation, and he was critiqued for this by Jaspers. Numerous major figures elaborated and refined Freud’s therapeutic techniques including Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, and others. Since the 1960s, however, the use of Freudian-based analysis for the treatment of mental disorders has declined substantially. Different types of psychotherapy have been created along with the advent of clinical trials to test them scientifically. These incorporate subjective treatments (after Beck), behavioral treatments (after Skinner and Wolpe) and additional time-constrained and centered structures, for example, interpersonal psychotherapy. In youth issue and in schizophrenia, the systems of family treatment hold esteem. A portion of the thoughts emerging from therapy are presently pervasive and some are a piece of the armamentarium of ordinary clinical practice. They are not just medications, they additionally help to understand complex conduct.
Therapy may address specific forms of diagnosable mental illness, or everyday problems in managing or maintaining interpersonal relationships or meeting personal goals. A course of therapy may happen before, during or after pharmacotherapy (e.g. taking psychiatric medication).
Psychotherapies are categorized in several different ways. A distinction can be made between those based on a medical model and those based on a humanistic model. In the medical model the client is seen as unwell and the therapist employs their skill to help the client back to health. The extensive use of the DSM-IV, the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders in the United States, is an example of a medically exclusive model. The humanistic or non-medical model in contrast strives to depathologise the human condition. The therapist attempts to create a relational environment conducive to experiential learning and help build the client’s confidence in their own natural process resulting in a deeper understanding of themselves. The therapist may see themselves as a facilitator/helper.
Therapies are sometimes classified according to their duration; a small number of sessions over a few weeks or months may be classified as brief therapy (or short-term therapy), others where regular sessions take place for years may be classified as long-term.
Some practitioners distinguish between more “uncovering” (or “depth“) approaches and more “supportive” psychotherapy. Uncovering psychotherapy emphasizes facilitating the client’s insight into the roots of their difficulties. The best-known example is classical psychoanalysis. Supportive psychotherapy by contrast stresses strengthening the client’s coping mechanisms and often providing encouragement and advice, as well as reality-testing and limit-setting where necessary. Depending on the client’s issues and situation, a more supportive or more uncovering approach may be optimal.
Most forms of psychotherapy use spoken conversation. Some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, artwork, drama, narrative story or music. Psychotherapy with children and their parents often involves play, dramatization (i.e. role-play), and drawing, with a co-constructed narrative from these non-verbal and displaced modes of interacting.
There are also different formats for delivering some therapies, as well as the usual face to face: for example via telephone or via online interaction. There have also been developments in computer-assisted therapy, such as virtual reality therapy for behavioral exposure, multimedia programs to each cognitive techniques, and handheld devices for improved monitoring or putting ideas into practice.
Above information is an excerpt from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapy