Psychotherapy is a method of treatment in which various psychotherapeutic techniques are used, namely, behavioral, cognitive, etc. The psychotherapist works on painful manifestations (neurotic and other disorders), as well as negative experiences that are caused by difficult life situations.
Today psychotherapy is gaining immense popularity and is in great demand. It is necessary not only for people with mental illness, but also useful for those who are faced with life crises. Modern tempo , workload, personal and social problems often lead a person to the need to receive psychotherapeutic help.
There is a misconception that psychotherapy is used exclusively by those who have serious mental disorders, but this is far from the case. Even the strongest, most successful, healthy people are not immune to stressful situations. Many have difficult periods when the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist may be needed.
Many people hesitate to seek help from specialists, try to overcome difficulties on their own, but in the case of neurotic disorders, this is lost time, and under the pressure of life circumstances, this may not be enough internal resources.
People with mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, etc.), patients of psychiatrists who have undergone treatment and entered a state of stable remission, often need psychotherapy to understand and accept the disease and their experience of being in it. They need support in getting rid of difficult experiences and in gaining new, useful communication skills. Psychotherapy helps during the rehabilitation period of such patients and is aimed at adaptation and adaptation to a new life situation, that is, their resocialization. Naturally, in these cases, a prerequisite is interaction, cooperation of a psychotherapist and psychologist with a psychiatrist, since psychotherapy can only complement drug treatment, but cannot replace it.
Psychotherapy is a joint work of a psychotherapist with a patient, aimed at identifying conscious and unconscious painful experiences in order to eliminate them. Translated from Greek, psychotherapy means healing the soul.
The treatment process is based on psychotherapeutic techniques; it necessarily has its own rules and characteristics of the conduct.
Is engaged in psychotherapeutic help, using various psychotherapeutic techniques, a psychotherapist or psychologist trained in psychotherapeutic work. The psychotherapist can also prescribe medications, since he is a doctor.
The main directions of psychotherapy
The main directions of psychotherapy, which we will consider in this article:
- Behavioral (or behavioral )
Fundamental in behavioral psychotherapy is the idea that it is the wrong, incorrectly formed patterns of behavior, skills that are the cause of some mental disorders. That is why the main goal of behavioral psychotherapy is considered to change ingrained and undesirable forms of behavior in order to create the necessary, useful ones for the client. This direction of psychotherapy is especially successfully used in the treatment of phobias, behavioral disorders, addictions. In such a situation, the symptom can be considered a kind of “target” for therapy.
Existential-humanistic psychotherapy sets itself the task of leading the patient to a conscious rethinking of his own life, understanding the fundamental life values, priorities and changing the life scenario based on these values, with the obligatory acceptance of responsibility for his life, decisions, choices.
For dynamic psychotherapy, the basic concept is the understanding of the dynamics of the patient’s mental life, which is based on the concept of the unconscious . Attention is focused precisely on the fact that the impact of experience from a stranger affects the formation of a style of behavior through cognitive methods, interpersonal interactions and the perception of communication partners that a person follows in life.
Each of the listed areas of psychotherapy has completely different mechanisms of influence on the patient, but they are united by one essential quality – an orientation not towards symptoms, but towards the personality of a person who needs help.
Psychotherapy can have different goals, and, accordingly, is as follows:
- Retraining. Conducts the reconstruction of destructive skills that negatively affect the life and adaptation of a person in society. During a psychotherapy session, results are achieved by supporting and encouraging positive behaviors in the patient.
- Supportive. The idea is to strengthen the defense mechanisms available in patients, as well as the development of new patterns of behavior that will help restore and stabilize the emotional state.
The main types of psychotherapy
The main types of psychotherapy are:
The basis of this type of psychotherapy is the idea that mental disorders arise from the patient’s illogical beliefs, his dysfunctional thinking stereotypes.
Founder – Aaron Beck – American psychotherapist, professor of psychiatry.
This type of psychotherapy is effective in treating neurotic disorders and gradually changes patterns of thinking, habitual stereotypes of perception, and behavior. The patient gradually learns to find ways out of various situations that seemed too difficult to him, he rethinks what is happening in his life and deliberately corrects it. The therapist helps you think and act more adaptively .
Psychoanalysis is a theory created by the Austrian psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, as well as a system of the same name for the treatment of mental – neurotic disorders. With the help of psychoanalysis, you can study the unconscious. This enables the patient to understand the causes and manifestations of internal conflicts and thus get rid of some mental disorders, since, according to the supporters of the psychoanalytic approach, it is the conflicts of the conscious and unconscious that are expressed in anxiety, depression, fears and other mental disorders.
During the psychotherapeutic process, they use the method of free associations, analysis of actions, interpretation of dreams, etc. The analyst listens to everything the patient shares, asks questions and, understanding the flow of free associations, comes to the definition and solution of the patient’s problem.
The founder – Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and educator, believed that the main task was to interpret the archetypal images that arise in patients. Therefore, the goal of the psychoanalyst is to discuss with the patient his experiences using symbols, metaphors, images. Thanks to the analysis, complexes are eliminated and the vital energy of a person is released, which can be directed to the elimination of psychological problems and development.
The founder of psychodrama is the Romanian psychiatrist, Jacob Moreno. Thanks to playing, like acting, various life situations in a psychotherapeutic group, emotions are lived and actions are performed that are not always possible to manifest in real life. Thus, the skills of solving personal problems with the reproduction of fears, fantasies and conflict situations are acquired. Psychodrama is the first emerging form of psychotherapy for group sessions.
- Gestalt therapy
The basic ideas were developed by the German psychiatrist Fritz Perls . If we compare this method with psychoanalysis, in gestalt therapy, the psychotherapist does not interpret the patient’s unconscious, but helps him in the development of self-awareness. The doctor is not a passive observer, but participates in the process, interacting with the patient in a dialogue. With the help of gestalt therapy, a holistic perception of oneself appears, a person begins to live not in the world of the past and fantasies, but “here and now.”
In addition to the above types of psychotherapy, there are also many others: symbol drama , family, client-centered therapy, etc. You can try to work with your inner world using various psychotherapeutic techniques and choose the one that suits you.
Psychotherapist and patient. Relations
The psychotherapist and the patient should be in a trusting relationship, that is, their interaction should be based on mutual trust.
There are times when, when seeking help from a psychotherapist, a patient expects that his painful manifestations will resolve very quickly, and all that is necessary is not to miss psychotherapy sessions, but this is completely wrong. Indeed, a doctor can prescribe medication, but in addition to taking medications, you will have to work hard. If the patient comes with the thought that everything will be done for him, there is no need to expect positive dynamics. Here it is necessary to cooperate with the highest possible level of readiness on the part of the person who applied for psychotherapeutic help to work with their internal and external problems. This is the only way to achieve sustainable results in overcoming neurotic symptoms and improvements in life spheres. The short-term nature of this type of work is a rare occurrence, since the problems and defense mechanisms that have to be corrected have most often accumulated over the years. Naturally, simply “throwing” them out of life will not work. Lasting change means serious and long-term work.
The result of psychotherapy
The positive results of psychotherapy are undeniable, since during treatment and rehabilitation a stable effect is achieved, not only with the possibility of acquiring new behaviors, skills, support for the patient, but also in the case of working in a group – improving communication in society, since the group is its small section … With the help of psychotherapy, you can cope with crises, mental disorders of the neurotic spectrum. In many cases, it is possible to further overcome neurotic symptoms without taking medications using psychotherapeutic techniques and techniques that have been developed during psychotherapy sessions.