Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational treatment to help gain insight and improve life’s problems. The goal of psychotherapy is to increase your sense of wellbeing and decrease discomfort. It aims to bring about changes in attitudes, behaviors, or ways of thinking or reacting, to help a person increase happiness, overcome problems and understand themselves or others better.
Individual psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychotherapist. Based in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to open up as much as you want to with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental.
Psychotherapy can also be more action oriented, with a focus on helping you to develop more effective habits. Your therapist and you will work together to identify and change the thoughts or behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
Psychotherapy involves an initial assessment period to gain a better understanding of your difficulties, strengths and resources and to work with you to develop a plan for addressing these. There are different types of psychotherapy, and many therapists draw upon several of these approaches.
Psychotherapy is effective. Research shows that most people who receive psychotherapy experience symptom relief and are better able to function in their lives. About 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy show some benefit from it. Psychotherapy has been shown to improve emotions and behaviors and to be linked with positive changes in the brain and body. The benefits also include fewer sick days, less disability, fewer medical problems, and increased work satisfaction.
In Québec, psychotherapy is a legally protected act that is reserved for physicians, psychologists, and professionals from numerous professional backgrounds who have completed training and licensing with the Order of Psychologists of Québec. Don’t hesitate to ask for information about your therapist’s qualifications, as well as their approach to therapy, at your first meeting.
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