What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the practice of spending time with a trained therapist to help diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems. Therapy can take various forms—cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or a combination of these—but at the center of each is the caring relationship between a mental health professional and a patient.

Recent posts on Therapy

Using Technology to Improve Access to Mental Health Care

How technology can improve mental health care.

5 Benefits of Asserting Your Needs—and How to Start Today

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on January 18, 2018 in Think, Act, Be
Responsible assertiveness is a win-win, allowing us to honor not just our own needs but the needs of others.

What Do You Ask for in Therapy?

By Israel W Charny Ph.D. on January 18, 2018 in Warrior for Life
More than relieving symptoms, psychotherapy is best a learning and developmental process toward increasing respect for life—one's own life and the lives of others.

Brain Networks in TMS for Combined PTSD and Major Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a promising treatment for people with both PTSD and depression. New TMS research gives insight into how to refine existing approaches.

A Matter of Degrees

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on January 14, 2018 in Head of the Class
Do all psychologists have training in therapy? What degrees do psychologists have?

How to Make a Relationship Last Forever

By Kelly Campbell Ph.D. on January 12, 2018 in More Than Chemistry
With the rate of divorce hovering around 50 percent, people often ask how they can make a relationship last forever? These are my top three tips.

The Naked and the Nude

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Couch and Stage
A lecturer shows a slide at a conference, a self-portrait as DaVinci's Vitruvian Man, with the genitals removed. He discusses the implications of revealing and concealing the self.

Alleviate Divorce Pain By Avoiding These 7 Common Mistakes

By Michael F. Kay on January 11, 2018 in Financial Life Focus
Divorce can leave scars on families that get passed from generation to generation.

Working Toward Psychological Health

By Karyn Hall Ph.D. on January 10, 2018 in Pieces of Mind
When working with individuals with an overcontrolled personality style and treatment resistant disorders and/or chronic loneliness, it can be difficult to prioritize goals.

How and Why to Diagnose Psychopathic Narcissism

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Evil Deeds
When are mental disorders defined and diagnosed by the suffering inflicted on others?

Why Myths Still Matter: The Twelve Labors of Hercules Part 5

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Evil Deeds
What psychological lessons can we learn from mythology?

Attachment Style, Adult Well-Being, and Childhood Trauma

Research spanning decades looks at how maltreatment of children plays out in adulthood.

Why Do Horses Help Us Heal?

Have you ever wondered why horses are used in therapy?

Let's Wait Until After the Holidays

By Michele Weiner-Davis MSW on January 06, 2018 in Divorce Busting
Rather than ruin the holidays for everyone, did you put off divorce until after New Year's? Before calling your attorney, read about a holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Discrimination: Is It Me or Is It Them?

It is common to blame yourself for discrimination. But discrimination is not your fault.

You Don’t Really Want to Get Better

Of course psychotherapy clients want relief from their symptoms. Yet, they are reluctant to change the defenses that would allow them to overcome their psychological maladies.

Do Therapy Dogs Suffer from Stress When They Are Working?

Worries that therapy dogs get stressed during treatment and intervention sessions appear to be unfounded.

How Therapy Works: What it Means to ‘Process an Issue’

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on January 03, 2018 in Insight Therapy
People often are advised to go to therapy to “process” some issue. But what does “processing an issue” actually mean?

How to Recommend Therapy

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on December 31, 2017 in In Therapy
Therapy can be incredibly helpful. Unfortunately, we're still in a time where recommending it can seem like an insult. Here's one gentle approach.

Art Therapy and Digital Technology: Digital Art Therapy

Digital art therapy is a relative newcomer to the field of art therapy that includes digital communication, devices, apps and social networking; here is a brief introduction.

The Impact of Compassion-Focused Self-Help on Well-Being

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 29, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Research on using guided self-help to deliver Compassion-Focused Therapy shows it is effective and useful as a home-based, structured approach.

9 Tips for Awkward Silences in Therapy

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on December 29, 2017 in In Therapy
All the good stuff has already been covered (or so it seems). Where should you go from here? What should you talk about in therapy? Awkward.

Online Programs Confront Suicide in Indigenous Communities

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on December 28, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Can technology alleviate the leading cause of death among indigenous peoples?

A Cultural Necessity: The APA's New Multicultural Guidelines

By Mariel Buque M.A. on December 28, 2017 in Unpacking Race
New multicultural guidelines for the APA.

Why Do We Misunderstand Depression?

By Jean Kim M.D. on December 28, 2017 in Culture Shrink
Depression is an illness that reflects the complex relationship between brain biology and life stressors. But coping with it is never as simple as "snapping out of it."

Sex Work and Therapy

By David J Ley Ph.D. on December 27, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Therapists often assume that a person involved in sexwork is "damaged." That assumption prevents many therapists from being able to actually help.
Duncan McNeil/Flickr, used under CC license.

Four Reasons Why Potential Patients Do Not Seek Treatment

By Michael S. Scheeringa M.D. on December 27, 2017 in Stress Relief
It is common to blame individuals for not seeking professional help, but it is likely not their fault. Mental health providers are more to blame for being poor at marketing.
Rudamese CC0 Creative Commons, Free for Commercial Use

Can Group Therapy Help With Relationship Problems?

Can Group Therapy Help With Relationship Problems? Perhaps therapeutic love clears a path to romantic love. By Naomi Snider, LLM

Dickens' "Christmas Carol"

Charles Dickens, in " A Christmas Carol", taught us all we need to know about character formation, the effects of trauma, and the healing process of mourning.

The Curse of 'A Christmas Carol'

The story of a cold and cynical heart turned compassionate and kind is a blessing of literature, an inspiration of hope, and a curse on realistic expectations of change.