During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Psychotherapy helps you know how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills. There are many types of psychotherapy, each with its own approach. The type of psychotherapy that's right for you depends on your individual situation.
Psychotherapy can Help treat most mental health problems, including:
Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder
Addictions, such as alcoholism, drug dependence, or compulsive gambling
Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder or dependent personality disorder
Schizophrenia or other disorders that cause detachment from reality (psychotic disorders)
Not everyone who benefits from psychotherapy is diagnosed with a mental illness. Psychotherapy can help with several life stresses and conflicts that can affect anyone. For example, it may help you:
•Resolve disputes with your partner or someone else in your life
• Relieve anxiety or stress due to work or other situations
• Cope with significant life changes, such as divorce, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job
• Learn to manage unhealthy reactions, such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior
• Come to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem, such as diabetes, cancer or long-term (chronic) pain
• Recover from physical or sexual abuse or witnessing violence
• Cope with sexual problems, whether they’re due to a physical or psychological cause
• Sleep better, if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
In some cases, psychotherapy can be as effective as medications, such as antidepressants. However, depending on your specific situation, psychotherapy alone may not be enough to ease the symptoms of a mental health condition. You may also need medications or other treatments.
Generally, there's little risk in having psychotherapy. But because it can explore painful feelings and experiences, you may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. However, any risks are minimized by working with a skilled therapist like myself who can match the type and intensity of therapy with your needs. The coping skills that you learn can help you manage and conquer negative feelings and fears.
Except in rare and specific circumstances, conversations with your therapist are confidential. However, I may break confidentiality if there is an immediate threat to safety (yours or someone else's) or when required by state or federal law to report concerns to authorities. Your therapist can answer questions about confidentiality
Length of psychotherapy
The number of psychotherapy sessions you need — as well as how frequently you need to see your me — depends on such factors as:
• Your particular mental illness or situation
• Severity of your symptoms
• How long you've had symptoms or have been dealing with your situation
• How quickly you make progress
• How much stress you're experiencing
• How much your mental health concerns interfere with day-to-day life
• How much support you receive from family members and others
It may take only weeks to help you cope with a short-term situation. Or, treatment may last a year or longer if you have a long-term mental illness or other long-term concerns.
Psychotherapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can give you the power to cope healthily and feel better about yourself and your life.