The purpose of individual psychotherapy is to help clients address various problems or issues within a supportive and confidential environment. Some individuals seek therapy to better manage everyday issues whereas others may come for mental health treatment to address more acute or severe problems. Whatever the reason for seeking treatment, psychotherapy requires a supportive and positive relationship between client and therapist.
Individual psychotherapy treatment is different than talking with friends or family. Clinical psychologists undergo extensive training and are equipped to diagnose and treat a number of issues or disorders. In addition, they are objective and do not possess the same biases as those of friends or family members. As a result, psychotherapy provides clients with a safe, supportive environment where they can freely explore their problems and express themselves without fear of judgment or interpersonal repercussions. Through psychotherapy, clients can learn strategies or techniques to help them address their symptoms or concerns. Clients may also discover how past experiences have impacted the development of certain patterns in their lives.
There are different types of therapies that psychologists use when working with clients. For example, some therapists utilize cognitive behavior therapy which tends to focus on specific problems or symptoms. A cognitive behavioral therapist may help clients understand how their thoughts affect their feelings and behavior. Other psychologists may draw from psychodynamic theories which help individuals understand how their past experiences affect their present day lives. Psychodynamic therapists also analyze how unconscious issues contribute to symptoms or maladaptive functioning. Some psychologists combine different kinds of therapies to help their clients achieve their goals. There are many other types of therapies commonly used by psychotherapists.