Psychotherapy, often called talk therapy, is an umbrella term for talk-based mental health treatment that focuses on finding ways to help you:
- Alleviate current problems in your life
- Develop coping skills
- Explore your feelings
- Control your emotions
- Process grief or trauma
- Find new ways to approach life with stronger mental health
Psychotherapy is appropriate for people of any age and can be applied one-on-one with just you and a mental health provider, in couples therapy, in family therapy or in a group, like a support group. Some of the reasons that people seek psychotherapy include:
- Substance use disorders
- Experiencing trauma or loss
- Grief counseling
- Marital counseling
- Family problems
- Anger management
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Problems at work or in school
- Quitting smoking
In psychotherapy, you will first speak with a mental health provider to determine what you need help with and what your treatment goals may be. You and your mental health provider can then decide what kind of treatment or combination of treatments are best suited to your needs. You might decide that individual counseling and a support group can best address your issue, or that just individual therapy will work best for you.
You will be encouraged to speak freely to your mental health provider and share everything that may be causing or contributing to your difficulties - your counseling and what you say to your mental health provider is private. You and your mental health provider will discuss things like boundaries and confidentiality early in your treatment.
Regularly revisiting your treatment plan and goals can help ensure that the treatment you’re receiving is right for you. You may find talk therapy alone is appropriate for your needs, or you may combine it with other forms of treatment.