Psychotherapy is a term defining the rather technical part of the communication between a person who becomes a patient when going to a professional to treat any physical or psychological disorder and he therapist himself. Moreover, not only the communication represents the psychotherapy itself, but also establishing a relationship that aims to improve the patient’s condition or even remove or solve the disorder entirely.
Psychotherapy can manifest in more than one way. Besides the individual therapy, one to one, there are also group therapy and the one based on drugs – pharmacological. With regards to the individual therapy, this can be, at its turn, of more types. For example, such types can be behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, cognitive and psychoanalytical. Concerning the group therapies, there are two major types, which involve psychodrama and family therapy. A more recent classification has also occurred in the pharmacological therapy subtypes, among which there are the anti-psychotic agents and anti-anxiety ones, the mood stabilizing agents (anti-manic) and the anti-depressants.
The base principle of the psychotherapy concerns bringing the thoughts and feelings from the unconscious side into the conscious ones. So therapy sessions can rely on asking a lot of questions to the patient and encouraging him to speak as freely as he or she can and can sometimes get to dream interpretations. The most known conditions or disorders that psychotherapy treats are the depression, personality disorders and the neuroses.
Three of the individual therapies, the cognitive, behavioral and the cognitive-behavioral, are the most practically oriented and can be longer in duration while treating mental disorders. Meanwhile, the aims of psychoanalytical therapy are the present and the conscious of the patient and try to help him get rid of some unhappy adaptations through behavioral changes and being, at the same time often shorter than the traditional sessions. For example, one can recommend to a patient that suffers from the fear of heights to climb a ladder every day, gradually, so he begins to feel this like a routine, which starts losing sense and importance.
Cognitive therapy also has a simple functioning principle. It bases on the premise that negative thoughts and feelings that a person feels or has during a day often lead to inappropriate or even bad behavior manifestations. The first stage of treating a disorder based on this principle is to make the patient aware of this idea, aware of all the negative things in his day to day life. Once identified, the therapist recommends and helps replacing them with positive behavioral elements. Some of the conditions that can be treating with the help of cognitive therapy are mild and incipient depressions, eating problems and anxiety.
Using elements from both cognitive and behavioral therapies, the cognitive-behavioral therapy works in two directions, both of identifying negative thoughts and feeling and approaching them with positive changes in behavior and cognition. One of the functioning principles of this is that some habits, thoughts and acts can be unlearned the same way they were learned. In order to do that, therapists can even assign some “homework” to the patients, so that they can exercise and help themselves.