Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Happens in Psychotherapy?

What happens in psychotherapy?  How does it work?

Psychotherapy is a process.  It is not like going to your internist, telling him/her what your symptoms are, taking the prescribed medication and then you're better.  It is a process developed out of the relationship and connection established between the patient and the therapist.  It is through this relationship that the patient and therapist work collaboratively to understand what is underlying the symptoms, issues, unhealthy patterns, and dissatisfaction.  It is with this knowledge of what is underlying, that the process of change begins.  This is the idea that "knowledge is power".  Knowledge is the power to be used for the purpose of change.    The therapist does not have the answers that are then given  to you much like your internist prescribes you medication.  But rather the therapist works together with you to discover what the answers are.  The answers are found together.  The therapeutic relationship that you and your therapist develop also becomes an important part of the healing process.  While there are many factors that go into change and growth, this, in brief, is what happens in psychotherapy.

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