Sometimes when we hear the word psychological therapy we start to tremble and it seems to us that our problem is more serious than it really is. Going to therapy consists of performing a science-based treatment whose purpose is to achieve the psychological well-being of people, addressing different psychological conflicts through a psychotherapist-patient relationship.
The therapeutic link between professionals and patients is the common denominator for all currents and the main variable for improvement. If there is no close treatment and the psychologist gains the trust of the patient, it is impossible to achieve progress.
When a person decides to ask for help and go to psychological therapy they are trying to overcome their fears and overcome the problems that alter their mind. The reasons can be very diverse: trauma, phobias, fears, relationship problems, rebellious children, school failure, emotional dependency, and many others in which the psychotherapist will apply the most appropriate strategy to each case.
It is important not to forget that psychotherapy or psychological therapy must be directed and applied by health professionals with training in psychology, and specialization in the clinical area.
What is Psychology Therapy?
Psychological Therapy is aimed at promoting the dissemination of knowledge and scientific evidence that contributes to the progress of the discipline. Empirical works of all areas and specialties of Clinical Psychology (evaluation, treatment, prevention, etc.) will be published. Eventually, theoretical reviews carried out under PRISMA methodology will be accepted, as well as articles dealing with variables related to mental health and clinical psychology (based on this perspective). Manuscripts can be submitted in Spanish or English. Three issues are published a year.
The first point to note is that psychology is a fully validated scientific discipline. It is not simply theories or hypotheses but consists of a science-based on empirical evidence. This makes psychological therapy clearly different from so-called pseudosciences or alternative therapies, which are so fashionable lately.
Thus, within psychology there is a specific field called Clinical Psychology; This is for the diagnosis, treatment, resolution, and prevention of mental, emotional or behavioral health problems. Therefore, the application of the different techniques of clinical psychology on a patient is what we call psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy or psychological therapy, therefore, starts from the knowledge of the internal structure of the personality. By understanding how people’s emotions, behaviors and psychological processes work, you can work on them. This allows the psychologist to solve problems that are plaguing the individual, such as anxiety, depression, phobias, etc.
In addition, psychological therapy is not only intended to solve specific problems that a person may be suffering at any given time, but rather goes further. As much or more important is to ensure that these problems do not recur, preventing them from recurring. Thus, the patient learns to use resources and tools that are not only applied to the original problem; on the contrary, it equips itself with instruments that will be useful to it throughout the rest of its life.
The benefits of going to psychological therapy
Patients go to psychological therapy for different reasons. But it is not an easy decision to attend a therapist’s office.
Unfortunately, there are still prejudices regarding this practice, especially due to false beliefs about what psychotherapy is and who it is aimed at. In addition, many individuals think that going to the psychologist is synonymous with being a weak person, although going to psychological therapy helps to be an emotionally stronger person and provides tools for a better adaptation to the complicated situations that may appear on a daily basis.
In summary, psychological therapy provides these benefits :
- Improves well-being and helps you feel better
- Provides tools for better conflict management
- Helps change limiting beliefs
- Let’s live in harmony
- Sessions are confidential, so secrets can be told
- The psychologist is going to be supportive and trustworthy
- Advise a qualified professional
- Empowerment versus life
- Helps to know yourself better
- If you are curious to know more about the psychological benefits that psychotherapy brings, you can read the following article: “The 8 benefits of going to psychological therapy”
Types of psychological therapy
If you have never gone to psychological therapy, the experience can be a bit mysterious at first and even intimidating, since there are different types of psychotherapy with different ways of solving problems, and at first it can be difficult to know how to navigate between them. Below we explain the psychotherapeutic approaches or models that exist.
1. Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy
The analytic therapy stems from the theoretical model proposed by Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis. His theory explains the behavior of human beings and is based on the analysis of unconscious conflicts that originate in childhood. To understand dysfunctional thoughts, psychoanalysis emphasizes instinctual drives that are repressed by consciousness and remain in the unconscious affecting the subject.
2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
From a cognitive-behavioral perspective, it is understood that thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect feelings and emotions and behavior. Therefore, this form of therapy combines different methods derived from cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. In other words, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) consists of a series of techniques that focus on teaching the patient a series of skills to better face different problems.
CBT is based on the idea that what we think about different situations affects our way of feeling and behaving. For example, if we interpret a situation in a negative way, we will experience negative emotions as a result, and that will cause us to behave in an adaptive way. It is the quintessential treatment for anxiety disorders such as phobias , as it is understood that. In this case, a traumatic situation causes analogous situations to be interpreted as threatening. This causes the patient to avoid exposing himself to these situations due to the intense and irrational fear he feels.
3. Humanist Therapy
Humanistic psychology is considered the third wave of psychology, watching the cognitive-behavioral and psychoanalytic perspectives as the two dominant forces before the humanist. This arose in the middle of the 20th century, mainly through the proposals and work of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.
4. Gestalt Therapy
The Gestalt therapy was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 40s, and is a type of therapy humanist, as conceived human beings, their goals and their range of needs and potentials. Therefore, from this position, it is understood that the mind is a self-regulating and holistic unit, and is based on the basic principle of Gestalt Psychology that “the whole is more than the sum of the parts”.
Gestalt therapists use creative and experiential techniques to enhance the patient’s self-awareness, freedom, and self-direction. This is a therapeutic model that not only has its roots in Gestalt Psychology, but is also influenced by psychoanalysis, Reich character analysis, existential philosophy, Eastern religion, phenomenology, and Moreno’s psychodrama.
5. Systemic therapy
Systemic therapy takes into account the representation of reality from a holistic perspective and inclusive, where the important are the relations and components that arise therefrom. In therapeutic sessions, relationship and communication are very important in any group that interacts and affects the patient (or patients), understood as a system.
Psychotherapy is effective in overcoming many psychological problems and in improving well-being. Despite the many studies that support its effectiveness, there are people who, even needing help, are not aware that they have the problem or avoid facing reality.