What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a treatment modality in which a trained psychotherapist interacts with an individual client, family, couple or a group. While psychotherapy usually relies on talking, mind-body approaches, guided imagery, play, art, movement, and other modalities can be helpful. Psychotherapy offers the opportunity to learn about your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors, and to discover patterns of behavior that might be causing you suffering. The work in therapy is coming to know oneself more and more deeply and through that gaining more freedom and choice in how you live your life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured, skills-oriented talk therapy. CBT has proven effective in research studies for the treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality issues, disordered eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. CBT focuses on day-to-day problems, involves significant guidance from the therapist, and might include in-session practical exercises or homework assignments.
Psychodynamic therapy is talk therapy that works to change maladaptive character and behavior patterns, resolve inner conflicts, and clarify unconscious forces behind distressing symptoms.
Supportive therapy aims to strengthen ego functions when a person is facing a crisis or a challenging life transition. Ego functions are the ways a person copes with the world, for example:
- Impulse Control
- Reality Testing – the ability to distinguish events in the external world from internal experiences
- Emotion Regulation
- Judgement – the ability to appropriately evaluate situations and make responsible decisions
- Object Relations – the ability to have mutually respectful and satisfying relationships
- Coping Mechanisms
- Synthesis – the ability to organize various aspects of one’s personality to think, feel, and act in a coherent and effective manner.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a structured mind-body therapy for the treatment of trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety. EDMR explores significant life events and the associated positive and negative beliefs and emotions while engaging the body through bilateral visual, auditory, or tactile stimulation. The American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and World Health Organization recognize EMDR as an effective treatment for trauma. EMDR can be more fun, easier, and quicker in yielding results than traditional talk therapies.
Play therapy is a therapy for younger children. In play therapy, the therapist interacts with your child through play. This allows your child to show their strengths and express their thoughts and feelings in their own “languague”—the language of play. Play can allow for diagnosis through observation of the patterns of behavior in play and interaction with the therapist. In play therapy children gain new skills for coping with challenges, develop a way to express and process emotions, and work through various anxieties and other difficulties.
Couples therapy creates the space for couples to improve relationships, resolve conflicts, or build strong foundations. Couples therapy can be conducted with one therapist and a client couple, or with a therapist couple and a client couple.
Body-Mind psychotherapy uses mindfulness of body sensation as a primary tool in the therapy process. This type of therapy may be effective for individuals struggling with issues such as stress induced physical symptoms, skin problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or irritable bowel syndrome.