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Last Updated: Oct 04, 2019
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Psychotherapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is Psychotherapy? What are the various types of psychotherapy procedures? Who would need psychotherapy? What are the benefits of psychotherapy? What care is necessary after psychotherapy session? What are the side effects of psychotherapy? How long does it take to recover? How much does a psychotherapist charge per session in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? Does psychotherapy really work? What are the alternatives to psychotherapy treatment?

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a technique typically used by psychiatrist, psychologist and other mental health experts for treating problems related to mental health. It helps to take control of our lives and respond to various challenging situations with healthy coping skills. During a therapy session, the healthcare professional attempts to learn about the patient’s condition, moods, feelings, thoughts, behaviours.

There are several types of techniques available with their own unique approach. The kind of therapy that's right for a patient, depends upon the individual situation. It is commonly known as talk therapy, counselling, psychosocial therapy or just therapy. It is used either alone or in combination with medications to treat mental illnesses. Though called 'therapy' for short, the word psychotherapy involves several treatment techniques.

During psychotherapy, a person with mental illness talks to a licensed and trained mental health care expert who helps him or her identify and work through the factors that may be triggering their disease. It is usually recommended whenever a person is grappling with a relationship, work issue or specific mental health concern.

What are the various types of psychotherapy procedures?

The therapy can be performed to anyone irrespective of age. There are several different approaches that a mental health professional can talk to provide the therapy. The different treatment approach includes:

  1. Psychodynamic Therapy: It builds on the assumption that a person has emotional disturbance because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood.
  2. Interpersonal Therapy: It focuses on the behaviours and interactions a patient has with his or her family members and friends. The primary goal of this treatment is to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem during a short period. It usually lasts around three to four months and works well for depression caused by mourning, relationship conflicts, major life events and social isolation.
  3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: This therapy assists people with mental illness to identify and change inaccurate perceptions that they may have to themselves and the people around them. The therapist helps the patient find new ways of thinking by directing attention to both the 'wrong' and 'right' assumptions they make about themselves and others.

Who would need psychotherapy?

Some people seek psychotherapy when they feel depressed, anxious or angry for a long time. Others may want help from a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still, others may even have short-term problems they need help navigating. Some of the common instances when one need to get treatment:

  • You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of sadness.
  • Your problems don't seem to get any better despite all your efforts and help from your family and friends.
  • You find it difficult to concentrate on your works, assignments or carry out other everyday activities.
  • You worry excessively, expect the worst or constantly on edge.
  • Your actions, such as drinking excessive alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive are harming you or others.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The mental health expert determines who does not qualify for the treatment. For earlier stages of mental illness, it is always advisable not to go straight away into any therapy but getting involved with friends and family.

What are the benefits of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy and has helped a large number of people. Mental health is a condition which can happen to any person around and one out of five people are affected by this. But these conditions can be treated effectively as there is much cure taken out by there.

  • Helping with depression: Depression is the most common condition which comes under mental health. This comes under the chronic misery in quality of life. Depression causes sleeping problems, appetite problems, or comes with a prevailing feeling of guilt. The psychotherapy treatment helps the patient by giving emotional support. The therapist helps the depressed person to think in a different way by giving them potential support.
  • Helping with anxiety: Anxiety is a common condition of mental health which affects half of the population. Anxiety differs in every occasion and clinical anxiety is a chronic symptom. Psychotherapy helps people to bring back their compass back to life. They are also helped in overcoming their fears and can accept their emotions and can make progress in achieving their goals.
  • This helps in overcoming the pain of their past and help in developing strategies for the future.
  • The therapy also helps one to set their goals and to have a clear path to what the want to do in their life.
  • People who are going through therapy they tend to explore their moods and behaviours.
  • People can get a better understanding of things and their emotions while going to the doctor and can even get a fresh start in the perspective of life.
  • People with a mental disorder have difficulties in conveying the emotions thus the therapists help them to speak up their emotions.

What care is necessary after psychotherapy session?

A patient should visit the physician for periodic check-ups for any condition and the same applies to psychotherapy. They might have to meet with the doctor for a couple of weeks or a month after therapy ends just to report how they’re doing as a follow-up procedure. If all is well, one can wrap things up at that session.

What are the side effects of psychotherapy?

Usually, there is a very little or no risk of undergoing psychotherapy. But because it can dive into painful feelings and experiences, one may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. However, any risk is minimized by working with a skilled therapist who can match the type and intensity of therapy with their needs. The common side effects are headaches, migraines, sleeplessness, etc. Research on side effects of psychotherapy has been limited for various reasons, yet they may be expected to occur in about 5% to 20% of patients.

Common problems include worsening of existing symptoms or developing new symptoms, conflicts in other relationships and excessive dependence on the therapist. Some methods or therapists may carry more risks than others and some client characteristics may make them more vulnerable. Side-effects from properly conducted therapy should be differentiated from harms caused by malpractice.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending on the severity of the mental ailment the recovery period varies. Psychotherapy is a continuous interaction with the expert. It should be considered more as a well-being session than treatment.

How much does a psychotherapist charge per session in India?

The cost of one session depends on the severity of the ailment of the patient. The average price of the treatment in India ranges between INR 1,000 to INR 10,000 depending on the case and organization performing the therapy.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are not permanent, but it instills confidence in the individual to fight for themselves and not bow down to the world. There have been cases where patients have again gone back to their old lifestyle after successfully completing this therapy.

Does psychotherapy really work?

The results of the treatment are not permanent, but it instils confidence in the individual to fight for themselves and not to bow down to the world. There have been cases where patients have again gone back to their old lifestyle after successfully completing this therapy.

What are the alternatives to psychotherapy treatment?

Some common alternatives of psychotherapy are Medication, Group therapy, Day treatment or partial hospital treatment, Specific therapies, such as cognitive-behaviour therapy and behaviour modification.

Key highlights

  • Safety: High
  • Effectiveness: Medium
  • Timeliness: Medium
  • Relative Risk: Low
  • Side Effects: Low
  • Recovery Time: High
  • Price Range: RS. 1000 - Rs. 10,000

Popular Questions & Answers

This is too much… I have been diagnosed with the following mental disorders by psychiatrists from bangalore. 1) I am having 2 mood disorders (major affective depressive disorder, single episode and bipolar 1 disorder, most recent episode) 2) I am having psychotic disorder (grandiose delusional disorder) 3) I am having obsessive compulsive disorder (mild trichotillomania) 4) I am having adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. 5) I am having personality disorder (moderate cluster b traits, schizotypal personality disorder, premorbid personality disorder) 6) I am having anxiety disorder in conditions classified elsewhere. From december 2020 to june 2021. I had undergone 10 psychotherapy sessions (via phone). Meanwhile, I also contacted various suicide prevention helplines via gmail and phone. And as per the instructions given by psychiatrist. I had completed the medications ,[ antidepressant (escitalopram) and antipsychotic (olanzapine) ] treatment for 46 days (january 2, 2021 to february 18, 2021). And then I stopped the medications by the permission of the psychiatrist. And then the psychiatrist told me to do cbt therapy. I completed 8 weeks of cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions on 20th may 2021. But the doctor said medications cannot alter the behaviour and even lots of cognitive behavioural therapy sessions will not give the desired result. You only tell…then why is the doctor told to start medications and therapy if they only are saying afterwards that there is no approved cure for the above mental disorders? Why did they play with my life so politely? Then the clinical psychologist from nimhans told me to watch comedy shows like tom and jerry to eliminate negative/suicidal thoughts. Then for almost 1 week I used to watch tom and jerry and my life was smooth….then I came across to the last emotional episode of tom and jerry in which both of them commits suicide by sitting down in the middle of railway track because of love-failure. Their love-interest married to someone else. So, now should I avoid watching tom and jerry for safety reasons? And, the clinical psychologist also advised me not to do meditation right now because…i think she may have told me because if I get obsessed with meditation then I might perform mahāsamādhi yoga. It’s a natural process where people have left their body consciously. It is the peak of yoga.

post graduate Diploma - Guidance & Councelling
Psychologist, Delhi
it's nice to see how dedicated you were towards your treatment, generally people stop going to the therapy sessions just aft few days as and when they see a bit positive change,they feel they are fine.hopefully you completed your com...
1 person found this helpful

Hello I went to psychiatric yesterday, already I am taking ciplar la 20 for 2 month yesterday he told me to take ciplar la 10 and he also prescribe lam0. 25half medicine in morning and half medicine in night for 10 days, can any one tell is it safe to continue this both medicine sometime my heart beat goes 115 when I think too much can I go with doc advice or I should wait.

Ph.D Psychology, M.Phil - Psychology
Psychologist, Jaipur
Dear user problems are a part of our life but we have to know how to deal with them, if we manage them properly we will grow and enjoy our life but if we are not able to face them and surrender to them then problems will grow. For sometime it is o...
1 person found this helpful

I have been using fluoxetine 60 mg and fluvoxamine for 4 months for anxiety and ocd. Ocd symptoms are left 5 percent from last two months and from few days I am feeling that fluoxetine is no more working for anxiety. What should I do?

M. S. in Psychotherapy and Counselling
Psychologist, Jaipur
Hi, first of all I would suggest you that for medication part you should talk to your treating doctor so that he can make changes in doses or medicines. Secondly I would highly suggest you to go for cbt and erp therapies with a good psychotherapis...

Hi from hyderabad. Dear sir/madam I get unnecessary panic for a minutes in a month it will happen 3-4 times or more. Whenever I have panic its feel like dizziness and dying. First time I got this panic in march 2018 from that time I did’t consult to any doctor. And as well I have acidity problem since a year. So please can you suggest me what to do in this situation. Thank you.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Panic attack a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety. Panic disorder is different from the normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressful events. Panic disorder is a serious condition that strikes ...
1 person found this helpful

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