"I have learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
"Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and be vibrantly alive in repose."
Psychotherapy is a very powerful treatment for emotional and mental health issues. It is also known as counseling, psychotherapy, or simply therapy.
Psychotherapy can help you discover ways to take control of your life as well as react to difficult circumstances with healthier coping skills. Throughout therapy, you discover more about your problem and your emotions, thoughts, feelings and actions.
There are numerous kinds of psychotherapy, each using a unique approach. The kind of psychotherapy suited for you is based on your existing condition.
The goal of therapy is change. Therapists are trained professionals that can help you move towards recovery and change. They are people that care and look after your wellbeing.
You experience a tough and extended feeling of vulnerability and despair, and your difficulties don't appear to improve in spite of your time and efforts.
You are finding it tough to perform daily activities: for instance, you cannot focus on projects at the office, and your job performance is hurting because of this.
You stress constantly, anticipate the worst, or you feel irritable.
Your are a danger to yourself or to others: for example, you drink excessively, abuse drugs, or become combative and hostile.
Choosing a therapist might not be as simple as it looks. You might not realize how many types of mental health providers there are.
Should it be a psychiatrist? Social worker? Or perhaps a licensed counselor instead?
The majority of mental health providers have masters degrees or doctorates. There are different titles for masterís degree therapists. Licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) and mental health professional counselors (LPC) are two examples.
Mental health counselors with doctoral training include psychologists (usually a PhD or PsyD) or psychiatrists (MD). Psychiatrists can also prescribe medications. Primary care physicians, also known as family doctors, can also prescribe medications for mental health conditions.
Your condition. Most mental health providers can help, but one with a specialized focus can be even more beneficial. For example, if you are having difficulties with teenagers, then a family therapist (LMFT) might be more appropriate. If you are having problems with addictions, then you might need to see a licensed therapist with a specialization in this area.
If you need medications. Only certain mental health providers can prescribed medications. Your family doctor can prescribe medications for some mental conditions. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor might also refer you to see a psychiatrist or a neurologist. These are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing mental health conditions and medications.
The severity of your condition. The more severe your condition, the more likely you will need to see a specialized expert in the mental health field. For example, for anxiety you might need to see a therapist or a psychiatrist, or both. More serious conditions, like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, may require more frequent visits to a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist.
Health coverage. Your insurance policy may have a list of the local mental health providers in your area. You can call them directory for the full directory or you can go directly to their website for their list of mental health providers. Review your health coverage with them. Your insurance company may have several individual plans that vary. For example, some plans may authorize more visits to a psychologist or counselor than to a psychiatrist.
Assistance at Work. Ask your companyís employee assistance program (EAP) for a referral to see a mental health provider. Typically, most companies will offer 4-6 sessions at no cost to you.
Psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are medical doctors (M.D or D.O) who specialize in the treatment of mental health conditions. Because of their medical background, Psychiatrists can prescribe medication.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mental Health Counselors (LMHC or LPC) usually have a masterís or a doctorate degree in counseling or in a related field. They are trained in a variety of therapeutic disciplines designed to treat mental conditions like depression, addiction, self-esteem problems, anxiety and grief.
Social Workers. Licensed social workers (LSCW) typically have a masterís degree in social work (MSW). Some have doctorate degrees as well. The role of a social worker can include a variety of services that range from case management to psychotherapy.
Psychologist. A psychologist has a doctoral in psychology (Ph.D or Psy.D). Psychologists generally do not prescribe medication. However, In New Mexico and Louisiana, psychologists with post-doctoral pharmacology training can prescribe some medications under the supervision of a doctor.
Marriage and Family Therapist. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) work with families and couples to foster growth and improvement. They have masterís degree and training in marriage and family therapy.
Family Therapy. Family therapy addresses multiple members of the family at the same time to help them resolve conflicts and improve communication. It is usually in line with the philosophy that families are a connected system. If a single role in the household changes everyone is affected and need to modify their behaviors too.
Group Therapy. Group therapy involves a group of people who focus on a similar difficulty, for example, depression, stress or drug abuse. Group therapy is definitely an important area to get support from others who are fighting identical problems.
Couples Therapy/Marriage Counseling. Couples counseling involves treating two people in a relationship. A professional therapist helps couples work through their differences, communicate better and resolve challenges more efficiently.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by using a blend of both cognitive and behavioral therapy. CBT examines the correlation between thought patterns and maladaptive or self-destructive behaviors. The therapy then includes modifying the thinking habits and the behavior.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Psychodynamic theory believes that the past - poor childhood memories or other unresolved conflicts - is the cause for conditions that last into adulthood, for instance, poor self-image, depression, or a sense of feeling unfinished. This type of treatment is typically more long-term than some of the other types of therapy.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy. The theory behind Interpersonal Psychotherapy is that existing problems are unresolved behaviors from previous interpersonal relationships. This type of therapy is usually short-term and more structured than the others.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is a form of therapy that was designed to treat people with a history of self-destructive behavior. It is currently to treat individuals with attachment conditions such as borderline personality disorder (BPD).
In DBT, The therapist continuously helps the client learn better coping skills to identify the triggers of dangerous behaviors and how to better cope with them.
Therapy is most effective when you attend all of the scheduled sessions.
The success of treatment depends on a person's active involvement, hard work, and consistency to see results.
Set realistic goals. In your first session, identify a number of goals with your therapist.
Then devote time to frequently analyze how well you're progressing. Results will take some time so please be patient. If you are not comfortable with your therapist's approach or if you don't think the sessions are effective, let your therapist know how you feel but don't discontinue treatment suddenly. Rather, ask for a second opinion if you and your therapist agree with this.
Be honest and open for feedback. Success with psychotherapy will depend on your readiness to talk about your feelings and emotions.
It also depends on your openness to new insights, suggestions and strategies for working on issues. If you're worried about your therapist's reaction to some of the things you want to say, let him or her know. Many people have the same reservations at first, so you are not alone.
Complete your assignments. If you are given an assignment, such as writing on a journal or reading a book, follow through. Working on these assignments can help you better integrate what you've learned in therapy to your life.
How to Choose a Psychologist. Describes a guide on choosing a psychologist. American Psychological Association (APA).
Psychotherapy. Overview of psychotherapy, finding a therapy and tips for therapy. The Mayo Clinic
Psychotherapy and Counseling. Reviews the nature of psychotherapy and the types of mental health providers. Help Guide.Org.
Psychotherapies. Provides information on the several types of therapy. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).