When you want to define psychotherapy, it’s important to discuss the wide range of methods available. The different schools of therapy are distinct because of their varied focuses. Discussing these and the elements of therapy is the best way to understand what psychotherapy is and how it works.
How Experts Define Psychotherapy
“Talk therapy” and just “therapy” are generic terms for this treatment. Psychotherapy is a process through which specialists treat mental health problems, including substance use disorders. The relationship and conversation between the clients and their therapists are two important elements in the process. In most cases, modern therapy sessions occur once a week and last for about 45 to 50 minutes.
Although conversation is a major factor, therapy involves much more than discussing problems. The structure, principles, and techniques that therapists follow and use also affect the outcome. This professional relationship differs in several ways from clients simply talking with family or friends about their struggles.
Relationships and Conversations
The relationships that clients and therapists build remain formal throughout psychotherapy. Therapists only develop these bonds to treat the clients’ health issues. Clients can tell counselors about their emotions and thoughts without worrying that others will find out. What they say in therapy won’t affect their families, jobs, or other relationships.
Because of that, therapists want honest answers when they ask clients how they’re doing. They don’t want the casual “OK” that most people respond to in social situations.
However, the conversation element of therapy involves more than just talking. Therapists train to understand the underlying meaning of what clients say. They pay attention to word use, body language, and tone when their clients talk.
Counselors also rely on their experience from treating others to fully comprehend their clients’ struggles. They know the symptoms of many mental illnesses and how hard they can make everyday life. Because of that, they know which questions to ask to uncover the underlying causes and help clients deal with them.
Categories of Therapy
Knowledge of the many categories of therapy can help people define psychotherapy further. Two of the most popular branches are behavior and cognitive therapies. Behavior therapy emphasizes the development of normal and abnormal behaviors. Cognitive therapy focuses on the development of thoughts.
Several techniques fall into these categories, but combining them is the most common method for addiction treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) emphasizes reducing problematic behaviors and emotions by changing thoughts.
It works on the theory that negative thoughts lead to negative actions and feelings. As a result, improving thoughts naturally produces positive feelings and behaviors. CBT also teaches clients skills to anticipate and avoid risky situations to prevent relapse.
In addition, holistic or integrative therapy is a category that blends elements from many treatments to address each client’s needs. Some examples include art, gardening, music, and pet therapies.
Providing Therapy Throughout Detox and Rehab
The Hills Treatment Center offers full-scale addiction treatment that includes detox, rehab, and aftercare. We use a range of therapies throughout the entire process, including:
Don’t let nerves about starting therapy keep you from getting the help that you need. Let us define psychotherapy as it will apply to your treatment plan. Call 866-323-4665 to learn more.