psychotherapy

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psychotherapy

 [si″ko-ther´ah-pe]
any of a number of related techniques for treating mental illness by psychologic methods. These techniques are similar in that they all rely mainly on establishing a relationship between the therapist and the patient as a means of developing the patient's insight into the motivation behind his or her behavior. On occasion, drugs may be used, but only in order to make this communication easier.
Forms of Psychotherapy. Perhaps the best known form of psychotherapy is psychoanalysis, the technique developed by Dr. Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis attempts, through free association and dream interpretation, to reveal and resolve the unconscious conflicts that are at the root of mental illness.

Closely related to psychoanalysis is analytically oriented therapy, or “brief therapy.” This uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis, but tends to concentrate on the patient's present-life difficulties rather than on the unconscious roots of these difficulties.

One widely used technique is group therapy. Six to ten patients meet regularly to discuss their problems under the guidance of a group therapist. Group therapy is based on the principle of transference—that is, a patient tends to react to others in terms of his childhood attitudes toward family members. During group therapy, he may react to one member of the group as a hated rival brother, and to another as a dominating mother. In the give-and-take of discussion, he will begin to recognize the distortions in these reactions, and to see similar distortions in his day-to-day relationships with other people. Group therapy may be combined with individual therapy. Group therapy can help reduce the cost to each patient. It is also widely used in mental health centers, where it has helped relieve the great shortage of trained therapists.

Adjunctive therapy, such as occupational therapy and music therapy, is helpful in relieving tensions and emotional problems that are associated with a feeling of uselessness. Psychodrama, in which patients act out fantasies or real-life situations, may provide a means of communication for patients who are not capable of expressing their problem by speech.

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy adapted to children. It is very difficult to induce an emotionally disturbed or even a normal child to talk about his problems. Play therapy provides an alternative. Children reveal themselves when they play with toys provided by the therapist and act out their fantasies. The therapist helps them “get things out of their system,” accepting them warmly as they are, and guiding them toward a solution to their problems. Since these are closely related to the way children are treated at home, play therapy is usually combined with some form of therapy for the parents. Family group therapy, in which the entire family meets regularly with the therapist, can be particularly effective.

Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that a person's feelings and behavior result from that person's perceptions of the world and that psychological disturbances result from faulty ways of thinking. The therapist is active in helping the patient to restructure his or her distorted perceptions, using a combination of verbal and behavior modification techniques.
brief psychotherapy psychotherapy limited to a preagreed number of sessions, generally 10 to 20, or termination date. It is usually active and directive, and often oriented toward a specific problem or symptom.
psychoanalytic psychotherapy psychoanalysis (def. 3).

psy·cho·ther·a·py

(sī-kō-thār'ă-pē),
Treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders based primarily on verbal or nonverbal communication and interventions with the patient, in contrast to treatments using chemical and physical measures. See entries under psychoanalysis; psychiatry; psychology; therapy
Synonym(s): psychotherapeutics
[psycho- + G. therapeia, treatment]

psychotherapy

/psy·cho·ther·a·py/ (-ther´ah-pe) treatment of mental disorders and behavioral disturbances using verbal and nonverbal communication, as opposed to agents such as drugs or electric shock, to alter maladaptive patterns of coping, relieve emotional disturbance, and encourage personality growth.
psychoanalytic psychotherapy  psychoanalysis (3).

psychotherapy

(sī′kō-thĕr′ə-pē)
n. pl. psychothera·pies
The treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behavior leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth.

psy′cho·ther′a·peu′tic (-pyo͞o′tĭk) adj.
psy′cho·ther′a·peu′ti·cal·ly adv.

psychotherapy

[-ther′əpē]
Etymology: Gk, psyche + therapeia, treatment
any of a large number of related methods of treating mental and emotional disorders by psychological techniques rather than by physical means.

psychotherapy

A general term for the treatment of mental (i.e., emotional, behavioural, personality and psychiatric) disorders through verbal and nonverbal communication with the patient, rather than by pharmacologic, surgical or other physical intervention. The classic format of psychotherapy is based on the Freudian school of psychoanalysis, in which the focus is to bring repressed memories to the conscious mind; once these memories are re-awakened, the patient is encouraged to solve his or her own problems by discussing the potential solutions with the therapist, whose role is to act as a sounding board.

Psychotherapy differs from psychoanalysis in that it is more informal and interactive, less intense and less concerned with repressed mental trauma. Psychotherapy begins with a history in order to evaluate the individual’s mental “substrate”, including marital and interpersonal relationships, fears, major life events (divorce, death, accidents, loss of job, etc.) and aspirations; once evaluated, the therapist advises, counsels and encourages the individual to adjust to his or her situation.

psychotherapy

Psychiatry The treating of mental–ie, emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders through verbal and nonverbal communication–eg, psychoanalysis with the Pt, rather by pharmacologic, surgical, or other physical intervention; the classic format of psychotherapy is based on the Freudian school of psychoanalysis, in which the focus is to bring repressed memories to the conscious mind; such therapies typically involve open discussion of emotional issues; psychotherapy differs from psychoanalysis in that it is more informal and interactive, less intense, and less concerned with repressed mental trauma; psychotherapy can be one-on-one with a therapist or in a group where other Pts participate Types Behavioral therapy, biofeedback, cognitive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, neurolinguistic programming, psychoanalysis, traumatic incident reduction, virtual reality exposure. See Biodynamic psychotherapy, Body-oriented psychotherapy, Hakomi body-oriented psychotherapy, Hypnotic psychotherapy, Interpersonal psychotherapy, Natural psychotherapy, Organismic psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Psychologic therapies, Psychoanalysis, Supportive psychotherapy.

psy·cho·ther·a·py

(sī'kō-thār'ă-pē)
Treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders based primarily on verbal or nonverbal communication and interventions with the patient, in contrast to treatments using chemical and physical measures.
See also: psychoanalysis, psychiatry, psychology, therapy
Synonym(s): psychotherapeutics.
[psycho- + G. therapeia, treatment]

psychotherapy

Any purely psychological method of treatment for mental or emotional disorders. There are many schools of psychotherapy but results appear to depend on the personal qualities, experience and worldly wisdom of the therapist rather than on the theoretical basis of the method. Currently the most fashionable, and seeming successful, school is that of cognitive behaviour therapy.

Psychotherapy

The treatment of mental disorders by psychological methods, usually by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Mentioned in: Paruresis

psychotherapy

the treatment of emotional and psychological problems by psychological methods.

psychotherapy,

n a family of related treatments for emotional and mental disorders that use psychologic, rather than biologic or pharmacologic methods. Mosby's Medical, Nursing & Allied Health Dictionary, 1430.

psy·cho·ther·a·py

(sī'kō-thār'ă-pē)
Treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders based primarily on verbal or nonverbal communication and interventions with the patient, in contrast to treatments using chemical and physical measures.
[psycho- + G. therapeia, treatment]

psychotherapy,

n any of a large number of related methods of treating mental or emotional disorders by psychologic techniques rather than by physical means.
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