What’s it like to be a psychotherapist?
Psychotherapy encompasses a variety of methods for treating mental, emotional, and psychiatric medical conditions. It helps patients understand the triggers of anxiety, depression, or related condition, and develop better ways of dealing with stressful situations. A psychotherapist is a mental health professional who interacts with patients to gain a solid understanding of feelings, thoughts, and behavior, and how it correlates with their mental health condition. He or she works to help patients overcome and recover from a variety of issues to live better lives.
Typical Job Activities
Psychotherapists work with a wide range of patients, from individuals and families to groups. They work with patients to help them reflect on certain aspects of their lives and learn new abilities, like managing anger. They strive to help patients overcome their mental health issues and they tailor treatment plans to specific situations. When meeting with new patients, psychotherapists commonly set up an initial interview, followed by several one-on-one sessions lasting 30 to 60 minutes one or more times a week to gain an understanding of the individuals. Then they establish a course of treatment and incorporate various things to help the patient deal with their mental issues. Psychotherapists use many different non-medical treatments to help patients understand their feelings and behavior and find new ways to deal with distress. Common approaches include cognitive behavioral therapies, hypno-psychotherapy, systemic therapies, and psychoanalytic therapies.
Essential Skills for Psychotherapists
Psychotherapists must have the ability to be emotionally available to patients, and when individuals are angry or hostile the job can be distressing. The ability to deal with stressful situations is essential for psychotherapists, and even when patients are disrespectful, these professionals must be committed to helping them overcome their issues. It is necessary for psychotherapists to completely understand the theory of psychotherapy and ways to apply those concepts to actual situations. They must be natural listeners and have the ability to focus on key things a patient says. Flexibility and improvisation are also helpful when dealing with new situations. In general, the most important skill needed by psychotherapists is the curiosity of understanding individuals with mental health issues and why they think and act they way the do.
Psychotherapist Work Environment
Some psychotherapists work for medical facilities or private practices and work on consistent schedules. Many psychotherapists are self-employed, so they are able to create their own schedules. Some see patients during the day, but many schedule appointments in the evening because a lot of adult patients come after work. Additionally, many psychotherapists offer on-call services for consultations, patient questions, and emergency interventions. A lot of psychotherapists specialize in a certain age group of patients, like the elderly or adolescents. Others focus on specific services like addiction counseling or couples therapy.
Benefits of Working as a Psychotherapist
Working as a psychotherapist can be a very rewarding career. For example, when a patient who is initially hesitant and closed-mind suddenly opens up and overcomes their mental health issues, it can provide a psychotherapist with a sense of euphoria. When patients are more balanced and at peace with themselves, psychotherapists often feel proud to have contributed to helping patients live happier lives. This profession is typically never dull and patients keep psychotherapists on their toes and ready to tackle a plethora of challenges.