Psychotherapy is the process by which a trained professional therapist uses guided conversation to facilitate changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Currently, there are hundreds of forms of therapy, each one with specific strategies that are predicated on different theories of how people change. There are a wide range of therapeutic targets for change, including depression, anxiety, bereavement, marital and other relationship discord, smoking, alcohol or drug addictions, anger problems, bulimia, insomnia, and adjustment to medical illness, physical injuries, or disabilities. Treatment targeting more universal issues, such as personal growth, career development, and life transitions, is often referred to more broadly as counseling.
The “talking cure” is really an ancient healing technique, but it was first formalized as a theoretically based Western medical treatment by Freud in the late nineteenth century. Psychoanalysis and...
References and Readings
- Hill, C. E. (2009). Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight, and action (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Langer, K. G., Laatsch, L., & Lewis, L. (Eds.). (1999). Psychotherapeutic interventions for adults with brain injury or stroke: A clinician’s treatment resource. Madison: Psychosocial Press.Google Scholar
- Miller, L. (1993). Psychotherapy of the brain-injured patient: Reclaiming the shattered self. New York: Norton.Google Scholar