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Institute of Mental Health
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Psychotherapy is a process which helps clients understand and resolve their problems by increasing the awareness of their inner world and its influence over relationships, both past and present. It is a form of drugless therapy which aims to help people with mild to moderate psychological disorders to understand and change complex, deep-seated and often unconsciously based emotional and relationship problems; thereby reducing symptoms and alleviating distress.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an effective treatment for a range of psychological disturbances. It is a process which seeks understanding and meaning in symptoms, behaviour patterns, and psychological disorders. It is not limited only to those with mental health problems. Many people who experience a loss of meaning or purpose in their lives or who are seeking a greater sense of fulfillment can be helped by psychoanalytic psychotherapy and through the effective use of hypnotherapy.
A Brief History of Psychotherapy
For as long as mankind has existed, interpersonal psychology has been an important part of healing of one person by another. Holy men, witch doctors, faith healers and the like all probably relied on some kind of empathy with their clients to effect a 'cure', or the illusion of a cure.
Psychotherapy is the psychological treatment of individuals with emotional problems, behavioral problems, or mental illnesses primarily through verbal communication. In most types of psychotherapy, a person discusses his or her problems one-to-one with a therapist. The therapist understands and empathizes with the person’s problems and helps the individual to overcome negative or distressing thoughts, feelings, or behaviors - which drugs cannot effectively eliminate. In other words, psychotherapy assists when problems are too difficult to bear or too deep seated to be solved by conventional medical means. Whether the problem is difficulties in a marriage which have been longstanding, or coping with a phobia, or other forms of neurosis, or simply a feeling of being unfulfilled or unhappy; psychotherapists see symptoms such as anxiety, tension, stress, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, suicide thoughts and depression as a sign of some form of inner disharmony.
Anybody with personal, emotional or behavioural problems could benefit from psychotherapy. Depression, tension, insomnia, stress, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and irrational fears (phobias) may all be symptoms of psychological problems which could be resolved and eliminated by psychotherapy. In addition to these, many physical ailments such as longstanding dermatological (skin) conditions, angina, and stomach ulcers may be related to emotional stress and inner conflicts of an unconscious nature that psychotherapy together with medical treatment can help relieve.
It must also be said that psychotherapy is not just for the sick and troubled - many people simply desire to find out more about themselves, to enable them to enrich their lives, and improve relationships.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Psychotherapy can be helpful for those who :
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