What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the practice of spending time with a trained therapist to help diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems. Therapy can take various forms—cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or a combination of these—but at the center of each is the caring relationship between a mental health professional and a patient.

Recent posts on Therapy

Lying to Your Therapist

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on October 26, 2016 in In Therapy
You spend money, time, and emotional energy coming to therapy – so why lie? Wouldn’t deception or omission mean that you’re avoiding your issues, keeping you from reaching goals?

New Research Shows Relationships End in 5 Stages

It may seem random, but when relationships come to an end, they often go through a series of predictable stages. New research shows how to tell whether you're ready to move on.

Promising to Stop Addictive Behavior Is a Very Bad Idea

By Lance Dodes M.D. on October 24, 2016 in The Heart of Addiction
It's common for people suffering with an addiction to tell others, or even themselves, "I promise I'll stop (my addictive behavior)." But it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Bringing Gaslighting to Light, Part III

Are you being gaslighted? Here's how to tell!

When Anxiety Means Suffering, Can Therapy Really Help?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on October 23, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Some therapists intuitively help clients develop right brain self-regulation. Therapists who are not relationally intuitive apply "paint-by-numbers" therapy learned in grad school.

Art Therapy: Treating Combat-Related PTSD

Recent research underscores that art therapy's role in the resolution of trauma is evident, but on the whole, it's complicated.

Why Consult a Clinical Psychologist?

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on October 22, 2016 in Evil Deeds
Have you ever wondered what really goes on during a consultation with a clinical psychologist?

The Ethics of Sharing Client Stories

How can I use my clients as examples in my teaching, while honoring my clients’ confidentiality and therapeutic experience? What are the ethical limits to telling clients' stories?

Brad & Angelina, Five Takeaways

What can we take away from the highly publicized Jolie/Pitt divorce and apply to our own relationships?

Talking About Sexism: Responding to Trump

Trump’s words and behavior compel a deeper and more challenging conversation about sexual violence. We must combat the triple threat of denial, dismissal and victim blaming.

How Human Traffickers Keep Victims Mentally Enslaved

Psychological manipulation tactics are critical to traffickers’ success, and coercion, manipulation and psychological abuse are often more powerful weapons than physical violence.

Ghost Righter

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A bit of Halloween fun, let's consider therapy in the afterlife for those who made poor choices while alive.
Kasia Bialasiewicz/BigStock

Meditation Helps Eating Disorder Recovery

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on October 18, 2016 in Bottom's Up
When people are recovering from an eating disorder, anxiety and stress can cause them to react through harmful behaviors. Meditation is crucial to a healthy recovery.

7 Steps That Can Help Anyone Start to Meditate. Even You.

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on October 16, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
If you've wanted to start meditating and weren't sure where to begin, use this guide to get started.

What Goes Into the Creative Act? Can Therapy Be Creative?

By Sheila Kohler on October 16, 2016 in Dreaming for Freud
Is there any overlap between therapy and the creative act?

Please Keep Your Emotional Support Iguana Off My Couch

By David J Ley Ph.D. on October 15, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Emotional support animals offer valuable assistance. But sometimes, therapists need to focus on helping people develop alternative strategies of soothing and anxiety-reduction.

The Wounded Healer Psychotherapist

There is a myth, which contains some truth, that psychotherapists are emotionally disturbed people, which is what attracts them to the work they do.

Working Too Hard or Too Little in Your Marriage?

Is your spouse overworking you?

5 Reasons We Worry, and 5 Ways to Worry Less

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
It's hard to stop excessive worry, in part because we believe we should worry. Find out why we worry, and how to worry less.

Auto Accidents and Insurance Issues

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in The New Normal
Are you covered in an auto accident?

5 Ways to Do More Mood-Boosting Activities

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on October 05, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Behavioral Activation for depression is well-tested and highly effective. Find out how to get the most out of this treatment, whether on your own or with a therapist.

How Parents Inadvertently Foster Racism

Parents inadvertently cultivate a twisted superiority that hitches a ride on racial categories.

Can Movie-Making Be a Form of the Talking Cure?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in Sensoria
Can movie-making be talking therapy?

I'm OK, You're OK

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in A Sideways View
Transactional Analysis has important insights for us today.

How To Accomplish Nothing in Therapy

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on October 03, 2016 in Listen Up!
A little satire and a nod to Abbott and Costello, philosophers of the Absurd.

Do It Just Because You Want To

By Pamela D. Garcy Ph.D. on October 03, 2016 in Fearless You
How often do you allow yourself to do something just because you want to? Making your wants important is a foundation to long term fulfillment in life.

A New Approach to Weight Loss

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on October 03, 2016 in Cravings
Accept the challenge and commit to learning new skills, new research says.

Childhood Sex Abuse: The Long, Hard Road to Sexual Healing

By Michael Castleman M.A. on October 03, 2016 in All About Sex
Myth: Child sex abuse ruins victims for life. Truth: Recovery is painful and may take years, but survivors CAN build fulfilling lives and loving, nurturing sexual relationships.

Why Is It So Much Fun to Get a Box in the Mail?

By Donna Barstow on October 01, 2016 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Many of us order things online that we wouldn't think of getting at the store. Why? Curiosity!

Breakthrough Moments in Therapy: A Vignette

By Jean Kim M.D. on September 30, 2016 in Culture Shrink
Psychotherapy can be as delicate and dangerous as neurosurgery, sifting through psychic pain to find the mass within.