Mental Health Therapies - Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is, like many aspects in the field of mental health, a theory, but it is one widely believed and accepted worldwide. Psychotherapy is the general term for an interaction in which a trained professional, usually a therapist or analyst, tries to help a patient by following a certain psychological theory or school of thought, to address problems based on emotional suffering, behavioral problems, or a disorder. Through a bond of trust that is developed between therapist and patient, the patient can achieve goals in therapy, such as the elimination of negative behavior and an improvement in well-being.

The numerous mental health therapy techniques and therapies available today are used to tackle a wide variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and phobias, as well as borderline disorders, multiple personality disorder, and schizophrenia. These conditions can be treated, often successfully, with the help of psychotherapy and, sometimes, supplementary drug therapy.

Today, therapists are becoming more and more concerned with finding the most appropriate form of therapy for an individual. There are numerous mental health techniques available, and their effectiveness varies from patient to patient. A positive therapy experience, where success is gained, must comprise a constructive relationship between therapist and patient. Often, a patient's problems cannot be trimmed to fit into one category; sometimes an individual's problems overlap as a result of years of unaddressed and accumulated inner and outer conflict. In these cases the treatment becomes more complicated. The key, however, starts with a good match between an informed, understanding, sensitive therapist and the patient.

Mental Health Therapies: Words to Know

Art therapy:
The use of art forms and craft activities to treat emotional, mental and physical disabilities.
Body/mind therapy that stresses the body and the mind being freed of negative actions.
The technique of making unconscious or involuntary bodily processes (as heartbeats or brain waves) perceptible in order to manipulate them by conscious mental control.
Classic conditioning:
Learning involving automatic response to a certain stimulus that is acquired and reinforced through association.
The grouping of the mental processes of perception, recognition, conception, judgment, and reason.
Dance therapy:
The use of dance and movement to treat or alleviate symptoms associated with mental or physical illness.
Dream analysis:
A technique of Freudian therapy that involves looking closely at a patient's dreams for symbolism and significance of themes and/or repressed thoughts.
The part of one's personality that balances the drives of the id and the exterior world that is the center of the superego.
Existential therapy:
Therapy that stresses the importance of existence and urges patients to take responsibility for their psychological existence and well-being.
Gestalt therapy:
A humanistic therapy that urges individuals to satisfy growing needs, acknowledge previously unexpressed feelings, and reclaim facets of their personalities that have been denied.
A philosophy that places importance on human interests and dignity, stressing the individual over the religious or spiritual.
A trance-like state of consciousness brought about by suggestions of relaxation, which is marked by increased suggestibility.
According to Sigmund Freud, the biological instincts that revolve around pleasure, especially sexual and aggressive impulses.
Insight therapy:
A group of different therapy techniques that assume that a person's behavior, thoughts, and emotions become disordered as a result of the individual's lack of understanding as to what motivates him or her.
Learning based on modeling one's behavior on that of another person with whom an individual strongly identifies.
Music therapy:
The use of music to treat or alleviate symptoms associated with certain mental or physical illnesses.
Operant conditioning:
Learning involving voluntary response to a certain stimuli based on positive or negative consequences resulting from the response.
The use of medication to treat emotional and mental problems.
The branch of medicine that relates to the study and treatment of mental illness.
A theory of psychotherapy, based on the work of Sigmund Freud, involving dream analysis, free association, and different facets of the self (id, ego, superego).
A therapy that involves a patient enacting or reenacting life situations in order to gain insight and alter behavior. The patient is the actor while the therapist is the director.
The forces (emotional and mental) that develop in early childhood and how they affect behavior and mental well-being.
The scientific study of mental processes and behaviors.
The general term of an interaction in which a trained mental health professional tries to help a patient resolve emotional and mental distress.
Rational-emotive behavior therapy:
Therapy that seeks to identify a patient's irrational beliefs as the key to changing behavior rather than examining the cause of the conflict itself.
Reality therapy:
A therapy that empowers people to make choices and control their destinies.
According to Sigmund Freud, the part of one's personality that is concerned with social values and rules.

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