Discover What Psychotherapy Is and What It Can Do

"What is psychotherapy?" and, "What can psychotherapy do?" are two questions which are being asked increasingly often by those who know they have a problem which needs to be dealt with, or by the families of someone who clearly needs help.

Attempts to define psychotherapy must be broad as there are virtually no limits to what can be achieved in terms of enhancing the potential of the individual. The basic premise is to change the consistent behavioural patterns of the individual by changing the mind to a more healthy outlook, and to build up more beneficial behaviour patters through conditioning and practice.

psychotherapy approaches

This usually involves one on one sessions with just the therapist and the patient present, although there are more advanced forms of psychotherapy which are carried out in groups. There are many opportunities for the therapist to suggest alternatives based on the results of initial sessions.

If defining psychotherapy was hard, trying to explain what it can do is is possibly harder because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, instead what is needed is a carefully worked out plan suitable for the individual, agreed upon between the patient and the therapist.

A good therapist is able to forge a relationship with the client which allows them to produce the best of themselves. Don't be downheartened if you find you need to change therapists; you need to feel you can trust them.

Another reason it is difficult to narrow down the definition of psychotherapy is because the discipline now encompasses many different methods of getting to the heart of any problem the patient may have.

Many of these approaches are based on what is known as behavioural therapy, or the building up of more appropriate conditioned responses to different circumstances.

Behavioural therapy has become an increasingly common way of dealing with many psychological disorders on the past half century, as more practitioners have seen the successes which the therapy has achieved in previous cases.

People who are new to the discipline and trying to find out what psychotherapy is for the first time are often surprised to learn just how diverse the techniques can be. It is not all CBT!

While most cases are treated in the traditional way, with just the patient and the practitioner in the same room and an atmosphere of quiet, there are many variations which can achieve the same or similar results.


There are cases where family therapy is more effective that therapy with just the individual, and even cases where people are more effectively treated as a group. This can happen when there are hidden conflicts which are preventing people from co-existing peacefully.

People wanting to work in the field of psychotherapy have some difficult choices to make. One of the downsides of having no rigidly defined methodology for psychotherapy which works better than others in all situations, it can be difficult to know where training needs to begin.

Most educators have taken this into account and have produced programs which will teach the fundamentals which underpin all methods of practicing psychotherapy. This way students can begin to specialise when they are fully aware of the possibilities. It is best for the student to leave any definite choice as to the area in which they want to practice until after gaining the basic knowledge.

An exact analysis of what psychotherapy is will be the starting point of any college course which is taken in this subject.

These college courses are needed in most jurisdictions before you can begin working as a psychotherapist, but the exact laws differ from one jurisdiction to another and of course country to country.

In the United States, you will need to become licensed before you will be able to practice as a psychotherapist, and this will mean passing an accredited examination. Studying at college is the best option for anyone wanting to practice psychotherapy, as there will be many opportunities for practical demonstrations.

It is not necessary to attend a college campus and to give up years of time to residential study. Most mature students are not in a position to be able to do this, so the option exists to complete a psychotherapy course through Online learning.

This course will cover the same material as the campus version, but you will be able to study it in your own home. As long as you are the right type of person to succeed with Online study, there is no reason why you should not be able to match the results of the campus students. However, if you are easily distracted and procrastinate a lot you may find Online studying is not for you. If you don't commit fully you will waste time and money.

Finding out what psychotherapy is and what it is used for in advance of formal studies will make the course seem easier to manage, and there are many Online resources to help you do exactly that.

The subject is covered extensively, on websites which are created by those within the profession, and sites which reflect the views of outsiders. The official sites can sometimes be difficult for a lay person to understand, but their content will become clearer as you go along.

Third party sites, like this one, can summarise well, to help you understand what psychotherapy is.

Author: Marc Knox