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Psychotherapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

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

There are several types of psychotherapy techniques available each with their own unique approach. The kind of psychotherapy that's right for us depends on our individual situation. Psychotherapy is commonly known as talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy or, just, therapy. Psychotherapy 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. Psychotherapy is usually recommended whenever a person is grappling with life, relationship or work issue or a specific mental health concern, and these issues are causing the individual lots of pain or upset for longer than a few days.

How is the treatment done?

While the therapy can be done in different formats like family, group or individual, there are also several different approaches that a mental health professional can take to provide the therapy. The different treatment approach includes,

  • Psychodynamic Therapy: The Psychodynamic therapy builds on the assumption that a person has emotional disturbance because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood.
  • Interpersonal Therapy: The Interpersonal therapy focuses on the behaviors and interactions a patient has with his or her family members and friends. The primary goal of this treatment is to improve the 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.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: The Cognitive-behavioral 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 is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

    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 a 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 to carry out other everyday activities.
    • You worry excessively, expect the worst or are 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 is the best person to determine who does not qualify for the treatment. For earlier stages of mental illness, it is always advisable not to go straightaway into any therapy but getting involved with friends and family.

    Are there any side effects?

    Usually, there is very little or no risk in undergoing psychotherapy. But because it can dive into painful feelings and experiences, one may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. However, any risks are 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.

    What are the post-treatment guidelines?

    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 psychotherapy 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.

    Psychotherapy doesn’t have a beginning, middle, and end. One can solve a problem, then face a new situation in your life and feel the skills they learned during the last course of treatment need a little tweaking. Just contact the psychologist again. After all, the doctor already knows your story. There’s no need wait for a crisis to see the doctor again. One might just need a ""booster"" session to reinforce what they learned the last time. Psychotherapy should be regarded as a mental tune-up.

    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.

    What is the price of the treatment 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 Rupees 1,000 to Rupees 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.

    What are the alternatives to the treatment?

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

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

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