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Get the facts about Psychotherapy

https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/psychotherapy-myths

apa.org

Get the facts about Psychotherapy
If what you know about psychotherapy comes from TV or the movies, you may have some misguided notions about what goes on in a practicing psychologist's office. Make sure you know the truth behind psychotherapy, so you can benefit from all that psychotherapy has to offer. Anyone can benefit from psychotherapy.

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Psychotherapy Is Confidential

Psychotherapy is bound by the rules of confidentiality. Only you can release your health records to an outsider. 

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Psychotherapy Is Not Forever

Your psychologist's goal is not to keep you on as a client forever but to empower you to function better on your own.

Everyone moves at a different pace during psychotherapy — it’s a very individualized process. 

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Be Open

Psychotherapy may entail exploring past events that may be impacting your life. 

However, in some instances, your psychologist may forgo delving into your past to focus on the current issue that brought you into treatment. You’ll learn to use techniques to change your current thoughts or behaviors contributing to your problem.

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Interactive And Collaborative

Psychotherapy often begins by you describing the issue that led you to seek help. But you will also talk about your background, the history of your problems and life, and how you tried to address the concerns.

Psychotherapy is typically an interactive, collaborative process based on dialogue and the patient's active engagement in joint goal setting and problem-solving with the psychologist. 

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Asking For Help

Many try and fail to solve their problems alone before starting psychotherapy, but many issues need specialized training or have biological components that a normal individual can’t handle on their own.

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Not Like Talking To A Friend

Psychotherapy is not like talking to a friend. Although important, support from loved ones doesn’t offer the same benefits a professional with specialized education, training and experience does

Psychologists can recognize behavior or thought patterns more objectively and advise better than those close to you. Plus, you can be completely honest with your psychologist on the certainty of their confidentiality. 

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Benefitting From Psychotherapy

Whatever the reason, anyone can benefit from psychotherapy and become a better problem solver.

The stigma connected to going to psychotherapy used to stop many from seeking help. But that has been changing as researchers continue to find evidence that emotional issues can generate physical symptoms and that physical issues may lead to emotional issues. 

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The most desired changes

The most desired changes

The so-called 'I can't wait!' change refers to the situation when you are excited about taking on a new job, getting married and all these big changes that you decide to undergo thr...

The necessary changes

The "I know I have to" beginnings are a bit more challenging to handle than the desired ones. This is mainly because we do the changes as we need to instead of actually wanting them.

These situations require courage, determination as well as building up a plan in steps about how to accomplish the change that needs to finally happen.

The forced change

This is the " Please don't make me do this" type of change.

Change can come both from inside and outside oneself. However, when somebody or something forces a change upon us, we tend to perceive the experience as being painful. Moreover, if we are prone to depression, it can actually put our health at risk. The best two ways to cope with this kind of situation is by either seeking professional help or starting to plan our recovery.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:

  • A natural disaster like a tornado
  • Military combat
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PTSD symptoms

Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms. Symptom categories:

  • Intrusion: Flashbacks, where you relive the event. Clear, unpleasant memories or nightmares about the incident and intense distress when you think about the event.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding people, places, or situations that remind you of the event.
  • Arousal and reactivity: Trouble concentrating, easily startled, feeling of being on edge, irritability, moments of anger.
  • Cognition and mood: Negative thoughts, feelings of guilt, worry, blame, trouble remembering parts of the event, reduced interest in activities you enjoyed.

PTSD treatment

If you're diagnosed with PTSD, you will likely be prescribed therapy, medication, or both.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or "talk therapy" helps you to process the traumatic event.
  • Exposure therapy lets you re-experience elements of the trauma in a safe environment. It desensitizes you to the event and lessens your symptoms.
  • Antidepressants, anti-anxiety drug**s, and sleep aids** may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.