The short answer is: yes. We know from scientific research that psychotherapy works. Years of careful scientific investigations have clearly demonstrated its effectiveness. Both qualitative and quantitative reviews of thousands of scientific studies have shown that about 75 to 80% of patients who enter psychotherapy benefit from it. This finding generalizes across a wide range of disorders and different therapy formats, including individual, couple, family, and group therapies. Read more about Does Psychotherapy work? …
The practice of psychotherapy is governed by many rules. Since it is considered a medical procedure, there is a tightly controlled legal framework for it. For psychotherapy to be effective, the therapist must follow particular rules of engagement for the communication process, for instance not to talk about herself too much during the therapy sessions (this is called self-disclosure.) These are the clinical rules for the psychotherapy process. Finally, psychotherapy also has a business dimension, and there are rules that govern the business relation as well.
Ethical rules for psychotherapy build upon the body of principles established over the centuries by the healthcare professions. It begins with the ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath that defines the relationship between a doctor and her patient. Here is the updated and modernized version from the World Medical Association, last amended in 1994: Read more about The Ethics of Psychotherapy …
We know that psychotherapy works across all modalities for about 75 to 80% of all clients. The therapeutic relationship itself is key to the success of the process. Therefore, the next question is: What makes a good therapist? A review of the existing research was summarized by Bruce Wampold into the following traits of a good psychotherapist: 1
- Has a sophisticated set of interpersonal skills.
- Builds trust, understanding and belief from the client.
- Has an alliance with client. Read more about What makes a good therapist? …
- Wampold, B. E. (2013). The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods, and Findings (Counseling and Psychotherapy: Investigating Practice from Scientific, Historical, and Cultural Perspectives) (1 edition.). Routledge. ↩
Psychotherapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can give you the power to cope in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and your life.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of the process:
- You should feel comfortable with your therapist. If you don’t, look for another therapist with whom you feel more at ease.
- Approach therapy as a partnership. Therapy is most effective when you’re an active participant and share in decision making. Make sure you and your therapist agree about the major issues and how to tackle them. Together, you can set goals and measure progress over time. Read more about Getting the most out of Therapy …
People who seek psychotherapy often suffer from one or more of the following problems:
- Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder
- Addictions, such as alcoholism, drug dependence, Internet porn, or compulsive gambling
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
- Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder or dependent personality disorder
- Schizophrenia or other disorders that cause detachment from reality (psychotic disorders) Read more about Why Psychotherapy? …