What is Psychological therapy?
Psychotherapy is therapy in which a person with mental or emotional problems talks with another person (talking therapies). This other person may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, clinical social worker, member of the clergy, alternative practitioner, or (to use the concept in its broadest sense) any helpful person. With successful psychotherapy, a client experiences positive change, resolves or mitigates troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions. Ideally, these are replaced with more pleasant and functional alternatives.
Psychotherapy includes interactive processes between a person or group and a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy aims to increase the individual's sense of his/her own well-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).
Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with different qualifications, including psychiatry, psychology, social work (clinical or psychiatric), counseling psychology, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, hypnotherapy, guided imagery, play therapy, music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, psychoanalysis, sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, and others. It may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated, depending on the jurisdiction. Requirements of these professions vary, and often require a graduate degree and supervised clinical experience. Psychotherapy in Europe is increasingly seen as an independent profession, rather than restricted to psychologists and psychiatrists as is stipulated in some countries.