What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the process of non medicinal intervention by trained therapist (psychotherapist) to treat people suffering from mental illness or psychological disorders of thoughts / feelings / behavior and to help people in improving mental control & functioning for a better life. In short it is the therapy which helps to achieve sound & positive mental health.
There are many methods / techniques which are used by psychotherapists today. (See types of psychotherapies) They have both diagnostic and therapeutic (curative) value. These therapies differ in origin, underlying principle, working methodology, professional training and usefulness in treating disorders.
Mental Disorders in today’s world
Mental disorders are fast becoming very common. The common causes, apart from biological causes, are setbacks in life, grief, poor coping skills, faulty upbringing, high pace & high demands of modern life, complex social structure, rapidly changing human values, lack of role models, poor support system, influence of media etc. The psychological disorders affect people’s ability to think, feel, act and relate in effective manner. They affect the happiness and progress in life. Their early detection and treatment is crucial to save person from long term suffering. (Also see Counseling for early intervention).
It is possible and helpful to recognize the changes early. Look for the following changes / symptoms in yourself or your loved ones.
- Changes in personality
- Problems of behavior
- Inability to function effectively.
- Persistent stress & inability to cope
- Extremes of mood and mood swings
- Unwanted strange / troublesome ideas / thoughts
- Inability to relate and have satisfactory relationships
- Persistent distressing feelings like sadness, anxiety etc
- Marked non specific changes in body functions like sleep or appetite
- Addictions and substance abuse like alcohol / drugs / sex / gambling etc
- Non specific physical complaints like weakness, bodyache, headache etc.
Conditions in which Psychotherapy helps
According to a recent survey for mental illness, approximately 26.2 percent of adults (over 1 in 4) are affected (or likely to be affected) by some type of mental illness. Here are some of the common mental illnesses that psychotherapist work with:
- Anxiety disorders like stress, non specific anxiety, health anxiety, social anxiety etc.
- Behavior disorders like uncontrolled anger (IED), impulsive gambling / stealing / pyromania / sex & pornography.
- Childhood disorders like attention deficit disorders (ADHD), autism etc.
- Cognitive disorders like amnesia, delirium, dementia etc.
- Dissociative disorders like depersonalization, identity disorder etc.
- Eating disorder like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating etc.
- Factitious disorders like feigning sickness.
- Mental disorders due to medical condition and sickness
- Mental retardation and poor development, specific or general.
- Mood disorders like depression, mania, bipolar disorder etc.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder like cue attacks, situational attacks, spontaneous attacks etc.
- Personality disorders like anti social /avoidant / paranoid personality
- Phobic disorders like phobia of animals, accidents, water, crowded place etc.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Psycho social disorders like isolation, problem with social group or occupation.
- Psychosomatic disorders like psychosomatic pain, conversion disorder, hypochondriasis, body dismorphic disorder etc.
- Schizophrenia with delusions, hallucinations etc
- Sexual & gender identity disorders like exhibitionism, fetishism, disorders of sexual desire / function, painful sex etc.
- Sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep walking, nightmares etc.
- Substance abuse (alcohol/drugs/nicotine)
Some commonly used Psychotherapies
- Adlerian Psychotherapy
- Behavior Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Emotional Freedom Therapy
- Existential Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Integrative Therapy
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Mind Body Therapy
- Neuro Linguistic Program Therapy
- Person Centred Therapy
- Primal Therapy
- Rational Emotive Therapy
- Spiritual Therapy
- Transactional Analysis
- Expressive therapy
- Narrative therapy
- Emotionally focused therapy
Psychotherapies developed by Dr S K Sharma
- Life Management Therapy
A comprehensive therapy for better management of life. See Below.
- InnerVoice Therapy
A therapy based on ‘Inner Voice’ for diagnosis and treatment of various psycho emotional disorders.
A unique Mind Development Program to excel in life. See Below.
- Bliss Emotional Healing and Happiness Therapy
A therapy for emotional release, freedom from negativity, development of emotional intelligence and attainment of stable inner happiness.
- Symbiosis Dynamic Relational Therapy
A therapy for development of positive & healthy social relations. See ‘Ethos Super Specialty Relationship Counseling’.
- Healthy Sex Therapy
A program to develop healthy and strong sexuality.
- One to One Couple Hypnosis
A very special program for couples to attain true love and strong relationship. See Couple Hypnosis
- Three Step Self Hypnosis
Safe simple yet powerful self hypnosis to attain better personality, better performance & results, reduce anger & anxiety, remove conflicts & bad habits and improve relationships.
- Love Therapy
A therapy for development of ability to give and receive love. It helps in attainment of state of abundance, high spirits & joy.
- Real Life Yogic Psychotherapy
A therapy for development of ‘higher inner self’ and harmony between Yogic life and real, practical world.
- Clinical Psychotherapy for psychological diseases
A therapy utilizing different mental mechanism for treatment of various psychological diseases.
- Complete Psychotherapy
A comprehensive therapy for better mental health. It incorporates -
- Core of reference
- Physical Feedback
- Life Management
Life Management © therapy (Developed by Dr S K Sharma)
It is a holistic psychotherapy which aims to treat mental sickness and strengthen positive mental health for mental calmness and efficient mental functioning. It has following components.
- Free Consciousness of Self, Environment and Life Facts.
- Life Skills Training.
- Positive Living.
Life management therapy has short and long term strategies for both acute and chronic complaints. It removes distress & negativity and promotes mental control & effective mental function. The highlight of life management therapy is the fact that it does not stop at treating mental sickness but continue to promote positive mental health.
It is a unique Mind Development Program for children & adults created by Dr S K Sharma after years of research on the functioning and development of mind.
- It helps in development of mind & brain.
- It improves functioning of mind like intelligence, concentration, memory, study & learning skills, creativity etc.
- It improves efficiency of mind and helps in multitasking.
- It improves self control & gives emotional stability. It prevents and helps in psycho-emotional complaints.
- It removes mental conflicts and complexes.
- It creates organized, calm, efficient, sharp and powerful mind.
- It helps in achieving confidence, success and in realizing best of self potential.
Benefits of Psychotherapy
- It decreases mental distress and helps in overcoming mental illness.
- It improves mental calmness, control and functioning.
- It improves job stability and helps in growth.
- It reduces socially unwanted behavior.
- It helps in getting freedom from addictions.
- It decreases dependence on psychiatric medicines.
- It reduces suffering and even treats psychosomatic diseases.
- It decreases discords and improves satisfaction in relationships.
- In addition to patient it improves the atmosphere of patient’s family.
The Process of Psychotherapy
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Apart from professional skills of therapist, psychotherapy (like counseling) works in an atmosphere of privacy, confidentiality, trust, respect and warmth. It is entirely confidential and it is not necessary for the patient to reveal his / her name, address and place of work. The initial sessions are about information gathering which are crucial for correct assessment and which form the basis of direction of psychotherapy. Patient’s can safely reveal his / her mental anguish and thoughts / feeling / behavior howsoever strange they may seem to be. On the basis of assessment the psychotherapy schedule is mutually decided. The schedule is need based and takes into consideration state of sickness, patient’s life and responsibilities and the effect of sickness on patient’s life and life of those related to him / her. Through the use of different psychological techniques, patient understands his / her sickness, gains mental control & functioning and learns various strategies to keep mental health positive and strong. In terms of benefits and reduced suffering, psychotherapy is a very cost effective treatment option.