The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy

What is it?

Psychotherapy is an interactive process between a person and a qualified mental health professional. The purpose of psychotherapy is to explore a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help solve problems or improve general functioning.

People trained in psychotherapy include psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family counselors, and some pastoral counselors. Unlike other psychotherapists, psychiatrists can prescribe medications. Some other types of psychotherapists have advanced degrees, and many must be licensed by the state in which they practice. Psychotherapists might have training in a specific type of psychotherapy or multiple types. They might also specialize in working with a certain age group (children, adults, elderly) or with people with a certain type of problem, such as mental illness, domestic violence or abuse, or substance abuse.

People use psychotherapy for alcoholism, the inability to describe ones emotions (alexithymia), Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, anorexia, antisocial personality disorder, anxiety, autism, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), itchy and red skin (eczema), autism, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, borderline personality disorder, bulimia, cancer, a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to improve mental performance, to treat mental problems, a pain disorder called complex regional pain syndrome, neurological problems caused by distress (conversion disorder), heart disease, Crohn’s disease, delirium, dementia, depersonalization disorder, depression, diabetes, an attachment disorder characterized by overly familiar behavior with strangers, multiple personality disorder, stomach ulcers, painful menstruation, indigestion, uncontrolled soiling of underwear, episodic control disorder, erectile dysfunction, exhibitionism, pretending to have a mental disorder, fear, fetishism, gambling, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, hysteria, being obsessed with being ill without a diagnoses of any medical condition, impulse control disorder, infertility, insomnia and other sleep problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stealing, learning problems, faking illness to get out of responsibilities, mania, narcissistic personality disorder, extreme sleepiness during the day (narcolepsy), obsession, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), pain, panic disorder, paranoia, paranoid personality disorder, sexual deviation, pedophilia, irrational fear of normal objects or situations, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premature ejaculation, itchy and scaly skin (psoriasis), mental well-being, mental disorders cause by emotional or psychological distress (psychosomatic disorder), an attachment disorder characterized by reduced ability to bond with people, relationship problems, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sexual dysfunction, quitting smoking, a disorder in which mental stress presents physical symptoms (somatization disorder), stress, coping with change(stress response syndrome), mood disorder caused by drugs or alcohol, psychotic disorder caused by drugs or alcohol, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tantrums, Tourette’s syndrome, trauma, urge to pull out one’s hair, urogenitary disorders, weight loss.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for PSYCHOTHERAPY are as follows:

Possibly Effective for…

  • Depression. Research shows that psychotherapy helps treat depression and helps reduce the risk of developing depression. This includes both primary and secondary depression. Some research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce the risk of suicide and the development of suicidal thoughts.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • Alcoholism. Early research suggests that psychotherapy alone or together with medications might help alcoholics by reducing withdrawal systems and by dealing with the underlying problems making them drink.
  • The inability to describe ones emotions (alexithymia). Some research suggests that psychotherapy might help people express their feelings.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Early research suggests that psychotherapy does not improve mental function or overall well-being in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Anorexia. Research suggests that psychotherapy might help people with anorexia recover, help prevent relapses, improve sexual and social adjustments, and encourage weight gain.
  • Anxiety. Some research suggests that psychotherapy might help people with anxiety.
  • Asthma. Some research suggests that family psychotherapy might slightly improve wheezing and breathing in children with asthma.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some research suggests that psychotherapy might not improve academic achievement or emotional adjustment in children with ADHD. It is not clear if psychotherapy could help reduce the need for drugs in people with ADHD.
  • Bipolar disorder. Some research shows that using psychotherapy along with medications might help people with bipolar disorder and reduce suicidal behavior.
  • Borderline personality disorder. Early research suggests that using psychotherapy for a least one year might help people with borderline personality disorders.
  • Bulimia. Some research suggests that psychotherapy, particularly behavioral therapy, might help bulimics reduce binge eating, vomiting, and relapsing. It might also improve eating habits and body image problems.
  • Cancer. Some research suggests that psychotherapy can improve quality of life in people with cancer by reducing distressing. It can also help people cope with the challenges of cancer.
  • Mental enhancement. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might help children learn languages. Individual therapy seems to be more successful than group therapy.
  • Mental problems. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce psychological distress and improve mental function in people with a traumatic brain injury.
  • Neurological problems caused by distress (conversion disorder). Some research suggests that psychotherapy that involves hypnosis might improve symptoms in people with conversion disorder.
  • Crohn’s disease. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might not improve Crohn’s disease, but it might reduce the number of relapses and surgeries needed.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests psychotherapy might improve blood sugar control in teens and adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, especially if blood sugar problems might be related to depression.
  • Stomach ulcers. Early research suggests that psychotherapy in the short-term does not help stomach ulcers.
  • Indigestion. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might improve indigestion symptoms, both in the short and long-term.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Early research suggests that individual, couples, or group psychotherapy might be helpful for men with erectile dysfunction.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Some research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • HIV/AIDS. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce depression and substance abuse in people with HIV. Other research suggests that it might also reduce pain in HIV patients with nerve damage-related pain.
  • Infertility. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce depression and anxiety related to infertility, but might not help with achieving a pregnancy.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Early research suggests that psychotherapy might improve quality of life and reduce stomach pain and diarrhea in people with IBS.
  • Bedwetting. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might be more effective than a bed-wetting alarm or rewards in children who wet the bed. Other research suggests that it might be as effective as drugs.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some research suggests that behavioral therapy and therapy along with medications might improve symptoms of OCD.
  • Pain. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce pain.
  • Panic disorder. Some research suggests that psychotherapy might help people with panic disorder.
  • Irrational fear of normal objects or situations. Early research suggests that psychotherapy, especially exposure therapy, are helpful for people with phobias.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some research suggests that psychotherapy might help people with PTSD, including adults or children who experienced sexual abuse.
  • Mental well-being. Early research suggests that psychotherapy might help people deal with mourning and mental health problems caused by grief.
  • Mental disorders cause by emotional or psychological distress (psychosomatic disorder). Early research suggests that short-term psychotherapy for psychosomatic conditions might be less effective than long-term therapy.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Some research suggests that group therapy might reduce pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis and depression. But individual therapy along with antidepressants might be more effective.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Early research suggests that psychotherapy might help reduce the effects of seasonal depression.
  • Quitting smoking. Early research suggests that group psychotherapy might be more effective than self-help for quitting smoking.
  • Coping with change. Some research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce depression in people who have a difficult time adjusting to change or a big life event.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Early research suggests that psychotherapy might reduce mental distress and medical symptoms, as well as improve quality of life, in women with SLE.
  • Tourette’s syndrome. Early research suggests that supportive psychotherapy might not reduce the tics that are associated with Tourette’s syndrome.
  • Urinary disorders. Early research suggests that people with problems urinating, such as inability to urinate or strong urges to urinate, might benefit for psychotherapy.
  • Weight loss. Research shows psychotherapy might help people who are overweight or obese lose weight when used in combination with diet and exercise.
  • Amnesia.
  • Antisocial personality disorder.
  • Itchy and red skin (eczema).
  • Autism.
  • Body image problems.
  • A lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • A pain disorder called complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Heart disease.
  • A state of mental confusion.
  • Memory loss.
  • Attachment disorders.
  • Painful menstruation.
  • Multiple personality disorder.
  • Uncontrolled soiling of underwear.
  • Explosive violence.
  • Exhibitionism.
  • Pretending to have a mental disorder or being obsessed with being ill without a medical condition.
  • Fear.
  • Fetishism.
  • Gambling.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems.
  • Learning problems.
  • Faking illness to get out of responsibilities.
  • Mania.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder.
  • Extreme sleepiness during the day.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Paranoia.
  • Sexual deviation.
  • Premature ejaculation.
  • Itchy and scaly skin (psoriasis).
  • Relationship problems.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Stress.
  • Mood disorder caused by drugs or alcohol.
  • Psychotic disorder caused by drugs or alcohol.
  • Tantrums.
  • Trauma.
  • Urge to pull out one’s hair.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate psychotherapy for these uses.

There are four major approaches to psychotherapy: psychoanalytic, behavioral, humanistic (focuses on issues taken from the experience of existence), and transpersonal (focuses on the spiritual dimensions of life). These four main approaches are blended in many different varieties of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy explores thoughts, feelings, and behavior for the purpose of solving a problem or helping someone function better in their life.

Psychotherapy is LIKELY SAFE when used under the supervision of a trained professional. But for some people, psychotherapy might not be enough to resolve mental or emotional issues when used alone. In these cases, medications might be needed.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of psychothearpy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, there’s no reason to suspect safety concerns when used correctly.

It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines.

Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

There are no known interactions with foods.

The appropriate or safe use of psychotherapy depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Art Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Behavioral Medicine, Biofeedback, Body Psychotherapy, Brief Therapy, CBT, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Bibliotherapy, Cognitive Restructuring, Cognitive Therapy, Common Factors Therapy, Compliance Therapy, Counseling, CT, DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Existential Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Forensic Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, Group Therapy, Guided Imagery, Humanistic Psychotherapy, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Jacobson’s Progressive Relaxation Therapy, Jungian Analysis, Jungian Therapy, Marital Therapy, Mind/Body Medicine, MST, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Music Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Nondirective Psychotherapy, Personal Therapy, Play Therapy, Projective Identification, Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, Psychodramatic Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Psychoeducation, Psychosynthesis, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, Relaxation Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Schema-Focused Therapy, Schultz’ Autogenic Training, Sex Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy, Spirituality-Focused Psychotherapy, Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy, Supportive Psychotherapy, Talk Therapy, Talking Cure, Telephone-Administered Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Transcendental Meditation, Transference-Focused Psychotherapy, Unconscious Psychotherapy, Visualization.


 

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