Psychotherapy

Overview

What is psychotherapy? 

Psychotherapy is a common and effective treatment that usually involves talk therapy based on psychological principles. Patients benefit from psychotherapy to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms by changing thoughts, patterns, behaviors, and relationships.

Who do I talk to? 

Psychotherapy may be with a licensed mental health professional, including a licensed professional counselor (LPC), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a psychologist (PhD or PsyD) who has a doctorate degree in mental health, or a psychiatrist (MD, DO) who has medical training specialized in psychiatry. It is important to have a strong rapport with your therapist.

Does psychotherapy work? 

Yes, psychotherapy is effective for patients. Several studies have shown improvement in symptoms and daily functioning.

How much does psychotherapy cost? 

The cost of therapy is going to depend on insurance coverage and your therapist. Some therapists prefer insurances, while others will take self-pay.

How many sessions of psychotherapy do you need? 

We usually recommend continuous psychotherapy for at least one year. However, this will depend on the severity of your symptoms, history, and diagnosis. It will be up to your licensed mental health professional who is conducting the psychotherapy sessions to recommend what will benefit you the most.

Psychotherapy success rate

Studies have shown that patients with combined therapy (both psychotherapy and medication treatment) were significantly more likely to recover. Thus, making it the preferred and most effective treatment for patients.

Will I need psychotherapy for the rest of my life? 

Patients have different times in their life where their mental illness may be worse than other times. This can include life transitions, grief, relationship conflicts, or family conflicts. We always encourage patients to reach out to a therapist during these times as another tool towards bettering their quality of life.

Psychotherapy Treatment Options

 

What are the different types of psychotherapy? 

The best psychotherapy for you will be based on your diagnosis, history, and recommendations from a licensed therapist. Below are a few various types:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) challenges your thinking patterns. It usually consists of education, relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, coping skills training, and stress management.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy is discovering how your personality was developed and how your early childhood experiences have influenced you. Often this therapy reveals unconscious thoughts or patterns that can be transferred to your relationships, behaviors, and thoughts now as an adult. By unpacking these things from the past, you allow freedom in who you are today.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on grief over loss, interpersonal relationships and conflicts, role transitions throughout life and areas of improvement in relationships whether with family members, spouse or coworkers.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy helpful for patients that need emotional regulation, skills training, and mindful practice. Patients can work on accepting change, improving conflict resolution in relationships, and improving symptoms of substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and eating disorders.

References: 

  1. Uptodate. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-psychotherapies?search=psychotherapy&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=
  2. Combining psychotherapy and antidepressants in the treatment of depression,Journal of Affective Disorders. 2001. Volume 64: Issues 2–3. Pages 217-229. ISSN 0165-0327 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-0327(00)00259-7.


Information

Medically reviewed by:

Charles Sweet, MD, MPH

Dr. Sweet is a native Texan and attended The University of Texas at Austin for undergraduate studies. He earned his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees at the University of Illinois and then did residency training at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Sweet came back to Austin, TX for specialized training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has been in practice since 2009.Dr. Sweet believes strongly in working with, and training Physician Assistants to treat the behavioral health needs of adults, children and adolescents.

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