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What Is Psychotherapy?

female client talking to therapist in well-lit office and asking what is psychotherapy

In psychotherapy programs in Idaho, psychotherapy definitions generally refer to talk therapy. “Psychotherapy” is a general term encompassing various therapeutic techniques and approaches. Someone who is being treated by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health expert is receiving psychotherapy.

If you’re looking for a teen psychotherapy program, call Imagine Boise at 888.597.2807 and speak with one of our experts today.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Having friends to talk to is important, but it’s not the same as talking to a trained psychotherapist. Professional mental health providers have studied a variety of techniques to help patients find solutions to their problems and change negative ways of thinking to support more positive behaviors.

The first session typically begins with a discussion about the patient’s background and any concerns they are having. Regardless of the patient’s age, they work together to set treatment goals with the therapist. The psychotherapy definition of this is called a treatment contract.

There are many different types of psychotherapy treatment. After treatment goals are discussed, the therapist will be better positioned to understand which therapeutic approaches will be most beneficial for a patient.

The most common types of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – helps individuals shift negative or inaccurate ways of thinking and behaving into more positive ones
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – a type of CBT used for high-risk patients to help them change behaviors that threaten safety and well-being
  • Psychodynamic therapy – assumes that present problems are based on unresolved conflicts from the past
  • Interpersonal therapy – focuses on connections and interactions with family members and close friends to improve communication and resolve issues caused by grief, conflict, and life transitions
  • Supportive therapy – helps people manage anxiety and improve self-esteem
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – helps patients accept their feelings and cope with challenging situations

No matter which of the many therapeutic approaches a therapist uses, patients will learn new coping skills that will help them throughout their lives.

However, the definition of psychotherapy is not a “miracle cure.” Patients must put in the effort to benefit from therapy. Being open and honest, sticking to the treatment plan, and practicing the skills learned during therapy sessions are all responsibilities the patient must fulfill to see improvement.

Who Can Benefit from Psychotherapy?

It is not necessary to be diagnosed with a mental illness in order to benefit from psychotherapy. Patients who participate in therapy learn how to resolve conflicts, manage unhealthy behaviors, cope with life changes, and more. For some people, psychotherapy can be as effective as prescription medication. It is also an essential tool for educating patients and their families about the specific disorders they are struggling with.

While it’s not necessary to have a mental health condition to benefit from psychotherapy, psychotherapy helps treat a number of behavioral and mental health concerns, including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Grief
  • Behavioral issues
  • Academic struggles
  • Difficult transitions

A wide range of techniques may be used during therapy treatments, depending on the needs of the patient. Family or group therapy is often included as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for teens struggling with behavioral or mental health disorders.

Find Compassionate Psychotherapy Care at Imagine Boise

The definition of psychotherapy can be challenging to understand when so many different techniques, approaches, and providers are involved. Simply put, if you are speaking to a mental health professional to help you resolve some issue in your life, you are receiving psychotherapy.

For more on how psychotherapy can help your teen recover from addiction or a behavioral disorder, call Imagine Boise today at 888.597.2807 or use the convenient online form.