Understanding Psychotherapy

Jun 07, 2023
Understanding Psychotherapy
Many people don’t understand what psychotherapy really is, let alone who can benefit from it and why. But there are so many ways psychotherapy could help you on your mental health journey. Here’s how.

Sometimes, the world can feel extremely overwhelming. If you are dealing with a mental health disorder, it can be hard to navigate through your day-to-day life, but even for those who aren’t, psychotherapy can be an incredibly effective tool. 

But what if you don’t understand psychotherapy or how it works? Where does it start, and how can it help you? 

Black Onyx is an integrated psychiatry clinic serving Orange, South San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California. At our clinic, providers Peter Pham, PMHNP-BC, and Diana Bush, PMHNP-BC, offer inclusive therapeutic options for mental health and wellness with psychotherapy at the top of the list.

Psychotherapy 101

Psychotherapy is an overarching term that refers to discussion-based treatment with a provider. This treatment helps individuals (as well as couples, families, and groups) change debilitating thought and behavior patterns. 

The program relies on participation from both the patient and the provider, who work together toward a goal of increased happiness and stability. 

Psychotherapy may sound severe, but it’s not. It can come in many forms, several of which are unstructured and freeform, but some of which (like cognitive behavioral therapy) are more organized. 

Over time, patients are able to open up about their feelings and actions in a way that — when guided by the therapist — creates solid growth. 

Data from 2019 states that 19.2% of American adults had received some sort of therapeutic care. There are two forms of mental health intervention: medication and psychotherapy. In many cases, we  can use these two treatments together to create positive results. 

Who needs psychotherapy 

Not everyone may require psychotherapy, but most people can benefit from it. Certain mental illnesses and disorders can make it much harder to navigate your regular life, even if you’re still able to do so successfully. 

Therapy can relieve some of this burden, helping patients with disorders like anxiety, OCD, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and ADHD

In addition, someone going through a major life transition — like a divorce, a move, or the loss of a loved one —  may find themselves struggling and in need of psychotherapy. You can even start psychotherapy if you’re not sure what’s wrong, but you know things have gotten harder than usual.  

How psychotherapy works 

Psychotherapy usually entails one-on-one discussion sessions with a licensed provider, although marriage, family, and other types of group therapy also exist. The patient discusses their difficulties as well as their current situation, and the provider offers support and suggestions for how to create better outcomes in the future. 

Having a supportive therapist can greatly improve your self-esteem. It can also make you feel safer and allow you to open up about things you might have been keeping inside for a long time. 

In addition, your provider can teach you techniques, coping strategies, new thought patterns, and many other tools that help you better manage your emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. 

Some people mistakenly believe that psychotherapy can be invasive or even that it isn’t necessary unless you are in a severe mental health crisis. This is untrue. Psychotherapy can benefit you in many ways; all you need to do is reach out and ask for help. 

Psychotherapy is a commitment to your overall well-being 

Mental stability and happiness often stem from a better understanding of oneself, as well as a toolkit of healthy coping strategies that allow you to better deal with your stressors. Psychotherapy can provide you with these things and more.

Visit one of our four California offices to learn more about how psychotherapy can help you. Call today, or book online to start your mental health journey.