What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy (also known as counseling, talk therapy, or simply therapy) is a general term used to describe talking to a trained professional about conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship conflicts and career frustrations.  Therapy is an interpersonal, relational experience that provides a safe space to express personal thoughts and struggles.  Through psychotherapy sessions, you can:

  • Learn about the causes of your condition so you can better understand it.
  • Learn how to identify and change behaviors or thoughts that adversely affect your life.
  • Explore relationships and experiences.
  • Find better ways to cope and solve problems.
  • Learn to set realistic goals for your life.

Work in therapy can improve your ability to cope with pain and suffering, and allow you to better recognize the meaning and richness in your life.  

Types of Therapy:
Therapists use a range of techniques and methods, some suited to particular mental health areas of expertise, and some that can be applied to clients dealing with a variety of issues in their everyday life. All therapists seek to increase their clients' emotional well-being and to provide a safe, supportive environment for their clients to heal and grow.

The key to successful therapy is a connected, trusting relationship between you and your therapist.  Many therapists adopt an eclectic approach- combining a variety of techniques to match the style and specific needs of their clients.  Some of the most common methods that therapists draw from in their treatment include: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy- focuses on the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do.  The approach assists clients in challenging and reframing their beliefs and thoughts, challenges and reframes beliefs and thoughts to transform behavior and emotions.  
  • Psychodynamic therapy- focuses on unconscious patterns of behavior and developing increased awareness and insight.
  • Motivational Interviewing- focuses on using a directive, client-centered approach to elicit behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.

Psychotherapy can be short-term, with just a few sessions, or it can involve many sessions over several years. It can take place in individual, couples, family or group sessions. Sometimes psychotherapy is combined with other types of treatment, such as medication.