Psychotherapy encompasses a broad range of interactions between mental-health professionals and their clients in which the therapist seeks to help the client solve personal or family problems. Psychotherapy is usually based on verbal interaction between the therapist and the client, giving us the familiar term talk therapy. The therapist’s understanding of the client’s problems is typically guided by a theory of the origin and dynamics of such difficulties, so the verbal interaction is focused in ways thought to be helpful to the client.
There are many approaches to psychotherapy. One type of psychotherapy focuses on the client’s history, so that the therapist helps the client understand early experiences in new, beneficial ways. Another type allows the client maximum opportunity to do their own problem solving, helping to elicit their own answers to their questions and issues. Yet another type of psychotherapy seeks to teach the client reasonable and balanced interpretations of their problems, helping them to avoid negative, catastrophic thinking and embrace a positive, empowering understanding.
At the Applied Psychology Centre, we use psychotherapy in the broader context of assessment, diagnosis, and training of basic skills in self-regulation.