Psychotherapy

Treatment

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and Mercy’s psychotherapy services provide comprehensive treatment for your mental well-being. A behavioral health professional can sit down and work with you to find healthy ways of coping with stress and conflict in your life.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy helps you find the skills you need to cope with tough situations in a healthy way. Our therapists are trained to help you in many areas of your life. Your therapist can:

  • Guide self-exploration to discover a deeper understanding of your emotions or behavior
  • Examine emotional blind spots
  • Help you understand both healthy and unhealthy relationship patterns
  • Find coping mechanisms for stress or major changes in your life
  • Help you work through conflict

Psychotherapy can relieve symptoms of any mental disorders you might have, but it can also benefit you even if you don’t have a mental disorder. Sometimes it helps to talk openly to someone who can help you understand your feelings or work through everyday problems.

Types of Psychotherapy

The choice of psychotherapy depends on your needs and circumstances. Our therapists may combine elements from different approaches to customize a treatment program best suited to your needs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) involves techniques that you can practice every day to help change unhealthy thinking to healthy thinking. Unhealthy thinking can take many forms, such as focusing on negative thoughts. Mercy therapists can teach you to watch for negative thinking and suggest ways to overcome it through a variety of proven techniques.

Research has shown that CBT improves symptoms of mental disorders, providing long-term improvement by strengthening connections in the brain. This can reduce symptoms of negative thinking and false beliefs.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on your relationships with other people. It’s based on the idea that personal relationships are often at the center of psychological problems. IPT differs from CBT because it focuses on unhealthy thoughts and behaviors only as they relate to interpersonal relationships.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy takes a closer look at the subconscious or deeper emotions that affect your decisions and relationships. Your therapist can help you identify the origin of any social problems or mental health issues you might have and work to find solutions.

Evidence has shown that long-term psychodynamic therapy is highly effective in treating a range of complicated mental health conditions and is more effective than short-term treatments.

Group Psychotherapy

Group therapy may be conducted for a limited number of sessions or can be ongoing. A group’s design, therapeutic approach and duration are influenced by the focus of the group and the therapist’s treatment style.

Research shows that group therapy can be very effective for adolescents. Adolescent group therapy involves one or more therapists working with a group of clients. Groups are often designed to target specific problems such as anxiety, depression, grief, or an eating disorder.

During group therapy, adolescents can communicate in ways that normalize their feelings and experiences. Group settings allow them to learn about themselves and the impact their behavior has on others. Another benefit is that adolescents receive feedback from peers, which they value and prefer over adult feedback at this age.

Research shows that psychotherapy patients show improvement in their mental health both during and after treatment.

How Does Psychotherapy Work? 

The decision to begin psychotherapy can be challenging. You may worry that seeking therapy means you are “weak” or "crazy." Some people are afraid or reluctant to reveal their innermost thoughts to a stranger.

These thoughts and worries are surprisingly common, but therapy is a strengthening experience that can bring great relief to deeper emotions. Conversations in therapy are kept confidential, so therapy creates a safe space where you can express the thoughts you don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else.

Your relationship with your Mercy therapist greatly affects the effectiveness of treatment. When you’re searching for a therapist, it’s not enough to find one who offers your preferred treatment type. You should also look for qualities like compassion, understanding and the ability to maintain strong boundaries.

Even when you have a therapist you feel comfortable with, that doesn't mean therapy will be easy. You can expect to have your assumptions and thought patterns challenged regularly. This can feel very uncomfortable, especially at first. But it’s important to have realistic expectations since changing your behavior takes thought, effort and time.

Because of these factors, the decision to start therapy shouldn’t be made lightly. It’s important to spend time securing or confirming insurance coverage, researching potential therapists and finding the right fit.

Benefits of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy has many benefits and can have advantages over medication. A major advantage over treatment with medication is that psychotherapy has fewer physical side effects, although your therapist may suggest a dual approach of therapy and medication to relieve symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Short-term psychotherapy has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders including social anxiety, OCD, phobias, bipolar disorder and eating disorders. It also creates lasting changes that provide further benefit as time passes. These improvements occur both with and without the addition of medication.

 

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