Psychotherapy and CBT

Grab interest

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 Psychotherapy is a type of therapy used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions.It involves talking to a trained therapist, either one-to-one, in a group or with your wife, husband or partner. It allows you to look deeper into your problems and worries, and deal with troublesome habits and a wide range of mental disorders, such as depression and  schizophrenia.Psychotherapy usually involves talking, but sometimes other methods may be used – for example, art, music, drama and movement.Psychotherapy can help you discuss feelings you have about yourself and other people, particularly family and those close to you. In some cases, couples or families are offered joint therapy sessions together.You will meet your therapist regularly, usually once a week, for several months, or sometimes even years. Individual sessions last about 50 minutes, but group sessions are often a bit longer. 

CBT is a important sub-field of Psychotherapy.

Types of psychotherapy

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There are several different types of psychotherapy, including:

  • psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) psychotherapy – a psychoanalytic therapist will encourage you to say whatever is going through your mind. This will help you become aware of hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that may be contributing to your problems.
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a form of psychotherapy that examines how beliefs and thoughts are linked to behaviour and feelings. It teaches skills that retrain your behaviour and style of thinking to help you deal with stressful situations.
  • cognitive analytical therapy (CAT) – uses methods from both psychodynamic psychotherapy and CBT to work out how your behaviour causes problems, and how to improve it through self-help and experimentation.
  • interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) – looks at the way an illness can be triggered by events involving relationships with others, such as bereavements, disputes or relocation. It helps you cope with the feelings involved, as well as work out coping strategies.
  • humanistic therapies – encourage you to think about yourself more positively and aim to improve your self-awareness.
  • family and couple (systemic) therapy – therapy with other members of your family that aims to help you work out problems together.

The type of therapy that's most suitable for you will depend on the problem you have. 

Time of Therapy

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The length of a therapy varies depending on what type it is and on your individual needs. Some people have just a few sessions. Other people see a therapist a few times a week for several years.A course of some therapy, for instance, is usually between six and 24 sessions, with each session following a structured agenda.In contrast, a client receiving counselling is encouraged to talk freely and the course of therapy may be extended depending on the client's progress.A session of one-to-one therapy usually lasts 50 minutes to an hour.Talking therapies are not therapies that are 'done' to you by someone else. You play an active part in the therapy. That can be empowering at a time when you may feel you have lost control over part of your life.If you are determined to get the most from the therapy, it is more likely to work.Talking therapies require you to be completely honest with yourself and that can be difficult. It may mean facing up to your fears, recalling distressing memories or talking about intimate topics and private thoughts and feelings.There may be tasks to do between sessions, such as trying out new ways of behaving or keeping a diary. It may be a while until you feel the results, but you get out what you put in.