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Get the facts about Psychotherapy

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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Get the facts about Psychotherapy

Get the facts about Psychotherapy

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

apa.org

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Key Ideas

Psychotherapy Is Confidential

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

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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 Way Therapy Works
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Therapy Techniques
  • Some therapists are just there to listen and provide a backdrop.
  • Even the silence that they exhibit seems to kindle the patients into divulging more of their most uncomfortable truths.
  • Others keep the sequence of assignments and tests lined up, never pausing.
  • Therapists play varied roles to get some valuable information out of the patient and make him better.
Therapy That Works

No particular form of therapy is proven to be better or more effective than others.

Different people prefer or respond to different forms of therapy.

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'Crazy People' And Therapy

Many believe the only "crazy people need therapy" and end up waiting before they seek help, which only exacerbates the problem.

In reality, people go to therapy for various reasons ...

Therapy And Reassurance

Most therapists are encouraging and emphatic, and some therapy models emphasize this warm support more than others. But not all therapy works this way, therapists also have to challenge and educate clients.

Therapists And Money

There are many other areas of expertise that require less effort and are more financially rewarding than therapy. Therapists who thrive in this work deeply respect humanity and aren’t driven by money.

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Psychotherapy Misconceptions

People do form conceptualizations of psychotherapy based on media portrayals.

While you may balance out fictionalized, sometimes-damaging depictions of professionals like physicians or...

The Dangers Of Psychotherapy Misconceptions

Misconceptions may make it hard for you to pinpoint the threshold for significant psychological distress in yourself or others. And can add hurdles to successfully initiating psychotherapy or being willing to stick with it.

Understanding what not to expect from the experience can help you approach treatment as an educated consumer with an open mind.

There's No 'Quick Fix'

Some approaches take more time than others, but it is highly unlikely that lasting change for longstanding issues can be achieved in a few sessions of psychotherapy.

The first appointments are to determine if (and what kind of) therapy can be helpful. You will talk about what led you to seek care and about medical, social, and family history to help the therapist get to know you better.

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