What is Psychotherapy?

What is Psychotherapy?

There are several hundred types of psychotherapy. The success of psychotherapy is not dependant upon the type of psychotherapy used, but instead is dependant upon the emotional availability, empathy, generosity, maturity, integrity, and professionalism of the psychotherapist. It is the relationship itself that heals; techniques alone do nothing. You might find this page informative; it answers frequently asked questions about one popular type of psychotherapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

How does psychotherapy work?

Chronic emotional distress is very often self-inflicted, often caused by an inability or unwillingness to accept something about ourselves. Psychotherapists are skilled in creating situations where we discover what that something is, and in showing us how to accept ourselves again. Of course, as mentioned above, there are many other ways of describing psychotherapy.

Is psychotherapy effective?

The short answer is YES!  The long answer might include any of these studies.

Is psychotherapy delivered over the telephone effective?

According to this study reported in the Journal of Counseling Psychology (Vol. 49, No. 2), telephone counseling appears to be an effective psychological practice.

Is psychotherapy delivered over the Internet effective?

Many psychotherapists have noted that because the practice of e-therapy is so new, the study of its effectiveness is neither complete nor conclusive. Preliminary suggestions are that e-therapy can be less intimidating and inhibiting than face-to-face therapy, while the process of writing a text email can be therapeutic, even before the email is sent to the psychotherapist.  However, the lack of physical and verbal cues, i.e. body language, has been cited as a serious impediment to working with the unconscious in psychotherapy.

The advent of video-conferencing has often been called the "holy grail" of e-therapy because it combines the advantages of both modalities. It will also make psychotherapy more accessible in a number of ways. The "personality match" between psychotherapist and client is an important predictor of success in psychotherapy, and so the ability to choose from among a number of providers easily and affordably online should also help the success of psychotherapy.