A Brief Introduction to Psychotherapy

Several centuries back mental illnesses were considered as superstitions such as certain evil spirit controlling the behavior and actions of a particular person. Even currently in some rural areas, apart from well developed, highly literate and technologically advanced nations, mental illness is considered as some alien force controlling a person’s mind and actions resulting in exorcism.

Sigmund Freud, one of the pioneers of psychology who invented different theories regarding the treatment of mental disorder. He introduced psychotherapy which is a form of mental treatment through talking to the patient about the problems causing cognitive disturbances.

Types of Mental Illnesses

With the development in the field of psychiatry and psychology mental illnesses vary from:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Border Line Personality Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Autism

With the advancements in the field of psychology, it is very likely that anyone suffering from these disorders can lead a normal functional life.

Types of Psychotherapy

There are various forms of psychotherapy for mentally ill people depending on what sort of mental illness a person is suffering from. Different illnesses require different psychotherapeutic treatments. For Instance, if someone is suffering from psychoses it is very unlikely that he or she can be treated completely through psychotherapy only as psychiatric intervention is necessary which consist of prescribing antipsychotics for the treatment. If someone suffers from neurosis his or her chances of getting back to completely normal self her high through persistent psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment. Following are the types of Psychotherapies performed by psychologists for the treatment of their patients.

1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

2) Psychoanalytical

3) Psychodynamic

4) Humanistic

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is a type of psychological treatment where the clinical psychologist tries to modify the thought patterns of the patient which cause emotional and cognitive disturbances. The psychologist’s aim here is to make the patient aware of his or her distorted thinking patterns causing feelings of phobia and low self-esteem.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually the shortest form of therapy and only consists of 16 sessions at the most with every session requiring an hour to complete.

Psychoanalytical Theory

According to Sigmund Freud, a human mind consists of two major parts, the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is that part of the mind which is aware of our thoughts, feelings, and memory. The unconscious mind consists of those feelings, thoughts, and emotions that we are not aware of and are unpleasant. Growing up as a child we suppress our feelings of pain, anxiety, and fear and try to avoid situations that can arouse these feelings. We are not aware of the unconscious mind but it still influences our behavior and feelings. It is basically structured like an iceberg. The conscious mind consists of the tip of the iceberg that we are aware of whereas the submerged part of the iceberg is the unconscious mind which is hidden. While using these therapeutic technique psychologists try to unveil the unconscious part of the brain where a patient has all the hidden lifelong phobias and feelings causing psychosomatic disturbances.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychologists are mainly concerned with the internal conflicts of a patient resulting in erratic behavior. They try to resolve internal issues which result in better mental health and behavior. Sigmund Freud was the one who introduced this field of therapy.

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