We live in a country where up to 12 million people may be affected by various types of mental illnesses or difficulties. Psychotherapy, a method of treatment that involves interaction between the patient and the therapist, is one way of dealing with many ailments. It is worth learning about its most important types.
What is psychotherapy?
The person of the psychotherapist is very important in psychotherapy – by definition, he is a person with an objective, balanced and non-judgmental attitude. The aim of the cooperation between him and the client is to identify and change patterns of thinking that prevent one from feeling better
Who might need psychotherapy?
The range of people to whom psychotherapists can offer their services is widening. This includes clients who:
- have long-term feelings of sadness and helplessness,
- are unable to cope with their problems despite the help of their loved ones,
- have impaired concentration and difficulty concentrating on their responsibilities,
- they worry excessively and show unjustified pessimism,
- have problems with substance abuse (alcohol, drugs),
- show aggression,
- have problems with low self-esteem,
- face traumatic experiences (divorce, death of a close person, loss of job, being a victim of physical aggression, harassment),
- have suicidal thoughts,
- problems in relationships with other people,
- experience professional burnout,
- want to improve their ability to cope better with stress and the problems they encounter.
Main types of psychotherapy
Individual and group psychotherapy
Individual psychotherapy takes the most traditional form of a conversation between a client and a psychotherapist. It can be effective when it concerns a specific problem or unfavourable habits. Group psychotherapy, on the other hand, is indicated for problems in interpersonal relationships. The natural step is to try to get rid of them in a controlled interaction with other people who have the same or very similar disorders. Meetings are held under medical confidentiality. The idea is to become aware of the emergence of problems when interacting with others and to adopt appropriate behavior patterns.
Short-term and long-term psychotherapy
In both of these cases, short-term or long-term therapy is possible:
- Short-term therapy: its characteristic element is that it seeks to eliminate a single problem. The doctor and the patient work on it over successive sessions. The number of sessions needed to reach the goal varies. It is often used e.g. in case of anxiety problems, obsessive neurosis, depression.
- Long-term therapy – is undertaken when a patient is struggling with at least several problems that prevent him from functioning normally. As a rule, these are problems deeply rooted in e.g. childhood, so it is difficult to predict the time needed for the therapy.
Basic types of psychotherapy by method
The main types of psychotherapy by method are as follows:
- Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy – also known as cognitive-behavioral; it is sometimes used primarily in the face of depression and anxiety disorders. It is based on the belief that behavioral patterns are created by a person’s thoughts and emotions. Therapy becomes necessary when the behaviors we have established become inappropriate and biased.
- Gestalt psychotherapy – is primarily about seeking a deeper awareness of emotions, body and environment, which gives the opportunity to see the cause of problems. Awareness gives freedom in dealing with them
- Humanistic psychotherapy – it is about starting to experience what is “here and now” and resigning from excessive looking into the past or looking into the future.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy – assumes that there is an unconscious mental life that influences real life. It places particular emphasis on the creation of relations with others and reaches back to childhood, because the patterns initiated then have an impact on later life. It is necessary to recognize this unconscious life, see the limitations caused by it and learn to cope with them