The following information about psychotherapy is in the public domain and is provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Most psychotherapy takes place with a licensed and trained mental health care professional and a patient meeting one on one or with other patients in a group setting.
Someone might seek out psychotherapy for different reasons:
- You might be dealing with severe or long-term stress from a job or family situation, the loss of a loved one, or relationship or other family issues. Or you may have symptoms with no physical explanation: changes in sleep or appetite, low energy, a lack of interest or pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed, persistent irritability, or a sense of discouragement or hopelessness that won’t go away.
- A health professional may suspect or have diagnosed a condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress or other disorder and recommended psychotherapy as a first treatment or to go along with medication.
- You may be seeking treatment for a family member or child who has been diagnosed with a condition affecting mental health and for whom a health professional has recommended treatment.
An exam by your primary care practitioner can ensure there is nothing in your overall health that would explain your or a loved one’s symptoms.