Have you ever heard of “talk therapy?” If so, you may already be familiar with psychotherapy, just under its less-intimidating pseudonym. In any case, psychotherapy (and, of course, talk therapy) is a means of helping those who suffer from a wide variety of emotional struggles and mental illnesses. Psychotherapy has been clinically proven to help reduce the symptoms associated with such illnesses and is also a way for patients to learn coping skills to deal with future symptoms. You may use psychotherapy to help treat conditions like trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and many other such clinical disorders.
In casual conversations, you might hear people interchangeably use the phrases “counseling” and “psychotherapy” (or even just “therapy”), but these terms actually mean different things in a clinical setting. Counseling, for one, is typically undertaken for a shorter period of time and is usually focused on addressing a specific problem in the patient’s life. An example of this would be conflict resolution in marriage counseling. Psychotherapy is a longer-term endeavor; in therapy sessions, a patient and their mental health professional will address the core of a person’s thought and behavior patterns, providing them with new—and hopefully healthier—alternatives that allow them to begin noticing the link between their mental illness and their thoughts and behaviors.
In addition to extensive education and training, a psychotherapist needs a toolkit of personal skills in order to best understand and aid their patients. These skills include:
The idea of beginning psychotherapy can be intimidating for many, but the truth is that we could all likely benefit from some form of therapy! Psychotherapy may be especially helpful for you if you find any of the following to be true:
Urban Health Group is proud to offer mental health support to members of the greater East Bay area including Castro Valley, San Leandro, Oakland, Alameda, and Hayward, CA. If you are interested in learning more about psychotherapy and the ways it could benefit you, please reach out to our team via email or phone to schedule an appointment.