ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY (return)

Clients seek psychotherapy for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor
problems of adjustment to serious problems that interfere with daily
life. Psychotherapists are dedicated to understand how people function
and helping them cope with life's problems.

A psychologist is a highly trained professional with expertise in the areas of human behavior, treatment, assessment and diagnosis. A licensed psychologist holds a doctorate degree in psychology and has passed a national and state
licensing exam. In order to stay licensed, psychologists must obtain regular continuing education to keep up to date with the latest development in the field. Psychologists are trained to use different assessment and intervention techniques depending on the nature of the problem and the preferences of the client and can select approaches designed to provide optimal results.


The therapeutic process involves a working partnership between client
and therapist, and for optimum outcomes to occur, the active participation
of the client is essential. Clients identify problems and goals, and try out
and report back on new behaviors. Although in therapy often progress is
made towards the stated goals, no guarantee can be given that the
outcome will be what the client seeks. In addition, changes are often
accompanied by feelings of distress, and moments of frustration, anxiety,
depression, confusion and self-doubt. Sometimes people feel worse before
they will feel better.

The time required for psychotherapy varies considerably, and good results
are possible with only a few sessions, and many clients are treated with
five to fifteen sessions. The severity and number of problems as well as
other individual factors have an influence on the treatment length, but the
therapist can usually determine what the treatment length will be for the
client's particular needs and circumstances. Since the therapeutic process
involves an investment of both the client and therapist, the decision to end
therapy is preferably discussed before it takes place, so that a sense of
closure can be obtained and recommendations for additional resources
can be made.


Finally, although psychotherapy is often provided on an individual basis,
certain problems are more effectively treated as a couple or a family, and
some unique benefits are available through group therapy. Other professionals
may also be included in the therapy process to provide additional
services such as prescribing medication. With the client's consent, the
treating professionals will consult with each other to avoid conflicts and
maximize the results.