Psychotherapy is a treatment that deals with psychological problems related to the human soul, thoughts and behavior. It is a procedure that involves meetings between the patient and a psychologist, involving conversations and analysis through what was said and reacted by the patient.
As much as many people can help each other, it is necessary to have a professional prepared for the purpose. Psychotherapy is not just conversations, but deep analysis by a specialist who has been prepared to deal with various problems involving depression, anxieties, anguish and other mental illnesses.
It is interesting to realize that psychotherapy will not only be the treatment of that current psychological problem, but bring tools to the patient so that he/she becomes stronger and able to face new situations that can cause illnesses to the human mind.
A psychologist is usually sought in order to resolve behavior problems, extreme sadness or any other exaggerated mental feeling (worries, rejection, anxieties). Many of these problems turn out to be small and can be solved personally, but they do not always arise through a bad day at work or a small family discussion (that's why there are so many professionals specialized in psychotherapy in our country, in order to help with these big demands).
Myths and Prejudices
When talking about psychological treatments, it is important to mention this: there are many misunderstandings in this area. Many still think that only the crazy or unbalanced need psychotherapy. Furthermore, there are still people who believe that it doesn't work, that it only wastes time and money. These findings are not true, as psychotherapy works, however it is necessary a good professional required, perseverance, patience and transparency of the patient; that is, improvements in the patient's thoughts and emotions; however, one of the conditions for the success of a psychotherapeutic treatment is patient cooperation. There must be cooperation between the patient and his or her psychologist to facilitate analysis and procedural procedures used.
Tips for the Patient
Follow these tips in order to be successful in a psychotherapeutic treatment:
• Don't be anxious – it seems strange to mention this as anxiety is one of the main problems treated in psychotherapy. When we mention “anxiety” it is about the need for patience in the treatment. Hardly in two or three sessions a psychological problem is solved. This takes a long time. So, persevere in your treatment and trust in your chosen professional: he will tell you that when is a good time to stop or make periodic sessions further apart.
• Be transparent – sometimes the selected psychologist is not achieving your expectations. At this point, it is important to notify him; there is no problem with that. Many psychologists work closely with others and can recommend one from another profile (or you can look for another yourself). In addition, it is important not to be afraid to speak, as without it, the work of the selected professional and the success of psychotherapy in solving your problem will be very difficult.
• Work in partnership on your treatment – treat your psychologist as a project partner, and that project is about solving your emotional problems. Take it seriously, but also know that, despite being a professional, it's like a friend who is an expert on the subject. Mutual cooperation is the key word!
• Talk a lot, but also listen – in the treatment it is important to have a balance between knowing how to listen and knowing how to talk about your problems. Depending on the person, some find it easier to one side and others to the other. There needs to be both a clarity in recording what goes on and understanding and receiving what is being said and recommended.
• Prepare yourself financially – as we have already mentioned, psychotherapy will rarely involve less than three sessions. Look for your health insurance if he attends a psychotherapy treatment or if there are also restrictions. Try to anticipate financially in order to have a continuous treatment, if not, a single visit to a psychologist will not do much good. In addition, it would be terrible to do the incomplete treatment for reasons of lack of money.
These were some tips that we indicated so that there is an understanding that a psychologist, even being a professional prepared to solve emotional problems, will not be able to resolve their issues if you do not do your part in the process. After mentioning some important attitudes that a patient should have, in the next topic we want to talk a little about the person trained in psychotherapy.
Looking for a Right Professional
All possible solutions used in psychotherapy are scientifically proven techniques and carefully analyzed when there is a good professional behind this treatment. As mentioned before, not all people are capable of performing such a procedure, but a professional qualified for this purpose. With that, make a good choice of a psychologist.
Look for a licensed psychologist! In the United States there are several such professionals. Surely you will find one either on the recommendation of a friend or relative and even on a simple internet search. Of course, a thorough search is important so that you don't come to select a bad professional.
Psychotherapy is not a formula in which someone teaches others to mechanically repeat and the final product is acquired. This is because the treatment is in people, and deals with the human mind, that is, each human being is different from the other and in this procedure there must be a good relationship between the professional (psychologist) and the patient. If you come to look for a professional who is unable to express himself or has a personal difficulty with him, we recommend looking for another one (as mentioned in the topic “Tips for the Patient”).
It is also important to mention that there is a principle that governs psychotherapy: Confidentiality. Psychotherapeutic treatment is something serious, which involves with ethics, the assurance that the information given will not be replicated to any person. Thus, if the psychologist is a good professional, he will be a trustworthy person.
Types of Psychotherapy
We deal with a lot of information about psychotherapy and do not indicate the immensity of ways to treat this area. Each type of psychotherapy has an emphasis and an area of action, thus, it will depend on the profile of the patient's problem and the initial analysis made by a psychologist.
A psychologist, despite using simple conversations and analysis through encounters, can use various treatment techniques. Are they:
• Dialectical behavior therapy: this treatment focuses on finding ways or paths for the person to resolve their emotional difficulties;
• Cognitive behavioral therapy: the psychologist seeks to teach the patient to change the way he see their problems, from a negative to a positive view;
• Interpersonal therapy: the focus here is on solving interpersonal problems, that is, how the person deals with others;
• Supportive therapy: supportive therapy for the person who is very stressed.
• Psychodynamics: psychologists in this treatment refer their clients to the past in order to verify childhood moments or some traumatic episode, concluding that bad behaviors were contracted during these periods.
There are specific psychotherapies that involve animals in the treatment (such as dogs, cats); there are other treatments that use dances, drawings and other arts; other procedures that use games to progress the patient's mental health.
Psychotherapy in the Pandemic
One interesting thing that has come up in great numbers in the United States is psychotherapy at distance. With the pandemic emerging between the years 2019 and 2020, the number of people who have resorted to meetings by video calls has been very large. In addition to offering flexibility, ease of treatment and avoiding contagion by proximity, Internet video calls treatment has conquered many americans. Despite all the ease that the internet offers, it is pertinent to leave a delicate point today: emotional distance. One of the biggest aggravating cases of anxiety, depression, panic also comes from lack of good interpersonal relationships. Being away from people also affects the mind, which is natural. With this, it is necessary to have a conversation with your psychologist, in order to verify what is the best way to treat your case (either in person or not).
Are medications required?
For a lay person, one can imagine it being strange to have to take a medicine for the mind. However, there are many serious cases of bipolarity, depression and anxiety. Despite this, there is a false expectation that one remedy will solve all of someone's problems. It's not always like that. In fact, most problems are solved by changing the way a person looks at a problem, how he views his challenges. With this, we can take various medications that temporarily change our behavior, but the core of the problem is not treated when the effect of the medication ends: the mind.
Psychotherapy will strengthen the person to face their mental demands with themselves, offering strategies and tools to be tackled on a daily basis.
If your problem is more serious, your own psychologist will recommend a psychiatrist, who will prescribe medication according to the illness that arises. Despite this there are some states in the United States that allow psychologists to prescribe medications for psychological treatments, but they are an exception. Anyway, it is always recommended to seek a psychologist as the beginning of any treatment for stress, anxieties, depression and other psychological illnesses.
With so much information that we have written, we hope that this article has contributed to know what psychotherapy is, the types of treatment, how and when to seek a psychologist, revealing prejudices on the subject and its news.