What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a voluntary interpersonal relationship between a trained psychotherapist and their client(s) designed to guide the client to reach their full potential or to better cope with life problems. Most forms of psychotherapy use spoken conversation. While changing behavior is often a target of the work, most psychotherapy focuses on feelings and thoughts.

How does psychotherapy differ from psychoanalysis?

While both psychotherapy and psychoanalysis explore the root causes of clients’ behavior, psychoanalysis is usually much more intensive, with frequency of 3-5 sessions per week as compared with once per week in psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis explores the dynamic workings of the mind that are believed to occur outside people’s awareness, and uses various techniques to probe the unconscious, including dream interpretation and free association.

How do I know if I need therapy?

People seek therapy for any number of reasons: if they have felt unhappy for an extended period of time; if anxiety or stress are impacting work, relationships or self-confidence; to address a general feeling of being “stuck”; or in the event of a significant life transition or loss. Often, people seek psychotherapy after struggling to cope with the problem(s) on their own.

Is therapy confidential?

As a code of ethical practice, therapists are expected, and usually legally bound, to respect client or patient confidentiality. The only exceptions are when client records are court-ordered, or when the therapist believes the client is in imminent threat of harming themselves or others.