WHY TALK THERAPY?
THERAPY TEACHES SELF-CARE & RELIANCE
Healthy boundary-setting is often a skill that needs to be developed in order to reduce the all-too-common sense of feeling overwhelmed. The simple act of going to therapy on a regular basis means that you are protecting time for yourself to step back and look at your life, your values, your goals, your own behavior , and your feelings from a new perspective. With technology and responsibilities more distracting than ever, it is so easy to live life unconsciously. Going to therapy helps you become more aware and mindful, enabling you to recognize areas where you want to change and, with the guidance of a trained therapist, develop new life skills.
THERAPY CAN EFFECT BRAIN FUNCTIONING
While both medications and talk therapy can be effective for depression, it turns out that each treatment may be doing something different in the brain, which is why people tend to respond better with both treatments simultaneously than with either alone. Talk therapy gives clients coping skills that they can use over their lives to manage their moods and studies show that therapy can cause healthy changes in brain functioning and neurochemistry.
People suffering from depression and other mood or mental disorders are often prescribed a combination of medication and psychotherapy. This general therapeutic term is used to describe treatment of a mental health problem by talking with a mental health provider such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Many patients find this practice very beneficial but they may seek complementary treatments that address the biological origin of their condition.
A Typical Therapy Session
During what is commonly referred to as “talk therapy,” patients learn about their conditions and relevant thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors. This treatment intends to teach patients how to take control of their lives. Patients learn and use healthy coping techniques to respond to challenging situations that may contribute to mental health issues.
Psychotherapy can yield many benefits. These include: stress reduction, a new perspective on personal and work-related issues, how to prepare better for upcoming challenges and triggers, and early identification of signals when their condition is worsening. Patients also learn how to develop better communication skills, healthier personal boundaries, how to effectively discuss their conditions with others and – if on medication — how to handle side effects.
Types of Psychotherapy
There are many different types of talk therapy and each has its own approach.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on how the thoughts and behaviors of the patient interact. A patient learns new ways to challenge preconceptions and react to situations that may trigger psychological dysfunction. Therapist and patient may work together to develop concrete goals and the therapist may provide assignments, such as maintaining a journal or using new techniques to solve problems.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on how relationships with other people affect depression. This talk therapy treatment focuses on practical issues, teaching the patient to recognize and change unhealthy behaviors.
The most traditional form of therapy is called psychodynamic therapy. Together, the therapist and patient explore the roots of the depression. This may involve focusing on past traumas, such as those that occurred in childhood.
Alternatives/Complements to Psychotherapy
Sometime, talk therapy alone may not be enough to address psychological problems. Therefore, psychotheray is often prescribed in conjunction with other treatments, such as nutritional changes, physical therapy or exercise, and medication. Cranial Electrotherapy (CES) and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are other options as well for some patients.
Article content, © Kira Stein, MD, APC. | West Coast Life Center
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