What is therapy?

Psychotherapy is a type of treatment for mental health conditions that is carried out by trained professionals. During therapy, therapists establish a professional relationship with a client who is experiencing a particular problem. A good therapist will be empathic, non-judgemental, and listen openly to your concerns. In addition to providing a safe and supportive environment, therapists use a specific approach or theoretical orientation to guide the therapy. There are several different types of psychotherapy approaches.

Why do people go to therapy?

Clients may seek psychotherapy for a number of different reasons. Many people who present for therapy are suffering from a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may have tried to cope with their mental illness on their own, but have found that they need additional help. Other clients may already be receiving some form of help, like seeing a psychiatrist for medication, but require more support. 

Some people may choose to enter therapy to deal with a particular life problem, such as marital conflict, grief, or adjustment to parenthood. They may or may not meet criteria for a mental health disorder. Psychotherapy can be useful for anyone who is having a difficult time coping with their mental health or a life stressor.

What is the goal of therapy?

In general the goal of therapy is to help people live healthier, happier lives. This may involve helping people establish more satisfying relationships, reduce negative emotions, and change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Therapy can help you solve your past and current problems and also teach you tools to deal with future challenges. Overall, the goals of therapy are unique to each person and will depend upon your presenting problem, hopes, and expectations.

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What is confidentiality?

Licensed mental health professionals are required by law to keep the information that you share with them private. However, there are cases where they may have to break confidentiality. For example, if you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else or in some cases of abuse. When it comes to minors under 18 years old, therapists may also communicate with parents if it is in the best interest of the child. A therapist can also discuss your treatment with another healthcare provider if you have signed a consent form.

It’s important that you feel comfortable openly speaking with your therapist. If you have any questions about confidentiality and what it entails, don’t hesitate to ask for more information. 

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