What Does A Psychotherapist Do?

PsychotherapistThose interested in pursuing a career in psychology might wish to gain an understanding concerning what a psychotherapist does in order to learn more about various positions and areas of specialization within the broader field of psychology. An individual wishing to work in psychology, but wanting to avoid the distinctions that go along with choosing to become either a psychologist or a psychiatrist can become psychotherapists, according to Wise Geek. Those who work has psychotherapists undergo training in both psychology and psychiatry while focusing on providing clients with both counseling and assistance with behavior modifications.

Psychotherapists function as mentors or guides for clients, helping clients to work through life situations that cause stress or other adverse emotional responses. An important tool for the psychotherapist is talk therapy. During a talk therapy session, a psychotherapist will attempt to draw concerns and information on mental obstacles out of the client through questioning and other conversational techniques.

By talking through worries, fears, or traumatic experiences, clients work towards overcoming obstacles in their lives with the help of psychotherapists. Talk therapy can be used as a cathartic exercise to help the client get tension-inducing subject off his or her mind, or the psychotherapy might use talk therapy to home in on a particular issue. In talk therapy, it is hoped that the client will come upon a solution to an issue simply by talking things through with the psychotherapist in a nurturing environment.

In addition to offering one-on-one talk therapy sessions, many psychotherapists carry out group sessions with several clients. The idea behind group sessions is that additional members in the group will provide additional input and ideas in response to the issues that clients bring up during the session. In a group session of talk therapy, the psychotherapist serves as a sort of arbitrator, making sure that the conversation focuses on a particular issue and ensuring that all of the members of the group are given equal consideration.

Different Approaches To Psychotherapy

Within the broader domain of psychotherapy, there are quite a few different approaches to psychotherapy that a particular psychotherapist may prefer. Psychotherapists tend to have their own opinions and ideas on which types of psychotherapy work best for a given patient or a given issue. Below are a few of the major types of psychotherapy, according to Medical News Today:

  • Behavior Therapy – By changing or analyzing his or her behavior, a patient can gain some insight into emotional responses through the behavior therapy approach.
  • Cognitive Therapy – Cognitive therapy looks to the link between what a patient is thinking and how that person is feeling as a result.
  • Family Therapy – A psychotherapist focusing on family therapy looks to familial relationships to explain certain emotional issues in a patient’s life.
  • Interpersonal Therapy – This type of therapy focuses on the patient’s relationships with others.

Related Resource: Become a National Certified Counselor

Opting For Psychotherapy

It is important that patients who are being treated with psychotherapy show a strong willingness and enthusiasm regarding the treatment process. Psychotherapy require an investment of the patient’s efforts and time. It’s important to understand that in responding to what a psychotherapist does, one must consider that the psychotherapy process requires patients to openly confront pain, tension, and emotional suffering in their lives.