To put it simply, psychotherapy is nothing more than treatment with a conversation. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a therapist advising and comforting the patient. It is something much deeper – something that allows him to eliminate problems and permanently change his attitude and, consequently, his life. How does psychotherapy work? What exactly is it about? What is its main purpose?
A few words about psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a complex therapeutic process that can work in many different ways. Its course largely depends on the patient’s needs and the selection of appropriate methods by the therapist. As for the therapy itself, it can be done in very different ways, for example it can be based on group activities or individual meetings. The duration of psychotherapy depends on the patient’s needs and may include several meetings or regular, long-term therapy.
How does psychotherapy work?
Due to the fact that psychotherapy is individual, it is very difficult to indicate its exact course. The basis for treatment planning is a detailed patient diagnosis. Once the specialist determines the disorders he is dealing with, he can pre-plan the course of treatment and the direction in which the therapy will develop. Unfortunately, discovering the essence of the problem very often requires a lot of time, which makes it practically impossible to plan the course of psychotherapy in advance.
Aims of therapy and a psychotherapeutic contract
After a diagnosis is made by a psychotherapist, it is crucial to define the principles and goals of treatment. The so-called a psychotherapeutic contract that is the starting point for all treatment. It is the type of agreement, written or oral, between the patient and the therapist that addresses the desired effects of the therapy. The contract may of course be modified along with subsequent consultations. A psychotherapeutic contract is also a great help in determining formal issues related to the visits. It should include arrangements regarding the frequency, price and duration, terms of resignation from a visit or termination of cooperation, and confidentiality of meetings.
What do the goals of psychotherapy depend on?
As mentioned before, the goals of psychotherapy can be very different and cannot be determined without recognizing the source of the patient’s problems, and once the goals are set, they are not rigid and can be modified during therapy. The factors that influence the shape of the treatment are mainly influenced by:
- needs and expectations
- patient’s motivation to start treatment,
- psychophysical state of the patient,
- the type of disorders and their stage of advancement,
- patient environment,
- emotional sphere,
- selection of methods by the therapist.
Treatment of mental disorders
One of the main goals of psychotherapy is the treatment of often deeply entrenched mental disorders. In this context, psychotherapy is one of the methods used in depression, anxiety disorders, eating problems and personality disorders. The goal of treatment is not only to relieve symptoms but also to prevent them from coming back in the future. By talking to the therapist, the patient learns how to recognize them, how to act to feel better, and how to react when they arise in the future.
Improving the quality of life
Another goal of psychotherapy is to improve the quality of life, understood as a fight against phenomena that persistently and severely hinder the patient’s daily functioning. Psychotherapy can help in a situation where the patient does not feel life energy, is apathetic, depreciates himself or is overwhelmed by extreme emotions such as anxiety or sadness. Thanks to therapy with a specialist, the patient can learn to cope with psychological difficulties. This type of therapy also works for people who have trouble interacting with other people.
Psychotherapy as a motivation
The popular goals of psychotherapy also include the therapist’s activities aimed at increasing the patient’s motivation and willingness to act. If the person who goes to therapy is dissatisfied with himself and treats his life as a failure, the goal of the actions should be to make the patient change his mind. Self-expectations that are too high are often the basis for more serious disorders, so you need to deal with them as soon as possible. Thanks to psychotherapy, the patient can find things that give him joy in life and allow him to forget about unrealistic expectations.
Read more: Psychotherapy Warsaw