In this era of social media, the discourse surrounding mental health is gradually shedding its taboo status, increasing the accessibility and availability of mental illness treatments. Among the widely recognized approaches, psychotherapy stands out as a popular and effective method for addressing and managing mental illnesses.

A Guide to Psychotherapy: What Is It, Who Needs It, and Types

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, encompasses a range of therapeutic techniques designed to assist individuals in recognizing and modifying detrimental emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Here is a guide to what psychotherapy is, who needs it, and its types. If you’re interested in psychotherapy in Manhattan, consider visiting this New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center [1].

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy comprises various therapeutic approaches aimed at altering thought patterns and enhancing coping skills. [2] Primarily employed in addressing mental health issues, these therapies can be beneficial for individuals seeking to modify unconstructive thoughts or behaviors. Professionals such as psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, or support individuals deliver psychotherapy. These therapy sessions can be individual or group therapy where multiple individuals engage simultaneously, allowing for shared experiences and learning from others.

You can also opt for family therapy, which involves you and your family, addressing communication improvement and conflict resolution, ranging from sibling issues to coping with the loss of a family member. You can also solve such problems through marriage counseling, which involves you and your partner addressing topics like communication, parenting, finances, and mental health conditions.

Who Can Benefit From Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is favored by scientific research [3] for being effective in addressing various mental health conditions like

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Phobias
  • Addictions like alcohol and gambling
  • Panic disorder

Medications may be recommended in conjunction. Additionally, psychotherapy serves to equip individuals with valuable coping skills to navigate stressful situations, irrespective of a diagnosed mental health condition.

Types of Psychotherapy

Mental health professionals employ various types of psychotherapy, often specializing in specific approaches tailored to individual conditions. Therapy selection is based on your unique circumstances, and therapists may integrate elements from different directions to best address your needs. Here are the 4 most common types of psychotherapy.

1. Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy works on the principle that childhood experiences and unconscious repetitive thoughts or feelings shape your behavior and mental well-being. Your therapist focuses on enhancing your self-awareness and modifying old patterns to empower you to take control of your lives effectively.

2. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a brief therapeutic approach focused on addressing underlying interpersonal challenges, such as unresolved grief, shifts in social or work roles, conflicts, and relationship issues. It aims to enhance emotional expression, improve communication, and foster healthier ways of dealing with interpersonal problems.[4]

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This is a goal-oriented type of psychotherapy structured to address mental health conditions and emotional issues. Therapists guide individuals in examining their thoughts and emotions, fostering an understanding of how thoughts influence actions. CBT facilitates the unlearning of negative thoughts and behaviors while promoting the adoption of healthier thinking patterns and habits.[5]

4. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a talk therapy derived from cognitive behavioral therapy tailored for individuals with intense emotional experiences. Therapists in DBT aim to find a balance between accepting individuals as they are and acknowledging their challenges while also encouraging beneficial changes. The focus involves learning new skills to enhance emotional regulation, incorporating individual and group therapy components.[6]

5. Other Types

There are complementary therapies integrated with psychotherapy, like animal-assisted therapy, which utilizes animals like dogs or horses to provide comfort and aid in communication for trauma coping.

You can also choose creative arts therapy, which involves using art, dance, music, and poetry to complement talk therapy and enhance communication, or play therapy, which is tailored for children, facilitating the identification and expression of emotions and feelings through play.


In today’s destigmatized landscape of mental health discussions, psychotherapy takes center stage as a vital treatment option.[7] It encompasses diverse therapeutic approaches delivered by psychologists and counselors. These sessions can be tailored for individuals, groups, families, or couples, and they address an array of mental health conditions, from depression and anxiety to addiction and phobias.

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We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[2] Psychotherapies:
[3] Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness:
[4] Interpersonal psychotherapy: principles and applications:
[5] Cognitive behavioral therapy:
[6] Do You Need Therapy? The Telltale Signs, According To Experts:
[7] How to Talk About Mental Health:
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Colin Radcliffe

Colin Radcliffe is the creator of DE-press-ON, a patient voice for ORCHA, and an ambassador for World Health Innovation Summit. Colin i