Psychotherapy: What is it and How Can it Help Me?

Psychotherapy. A good way to engage this topic is perhaps with wisdom from Soviet psychologist, Lev Vygotsky who said, “Thought can be compared to a hovering cloud which gushes a shower of words.” Have you ever felt exhausted, without energy or motivation for a long time? Perhaps you felt this way after a specific event, such as the death of a family member or friend, layoffs, a job rejection, or the ending of a relationship.

Many times, these experiences can affect us in the short or long term, added to the fact that each person has a story and these situations and reactions can be due to certain patterns that people follow unconsciously; the typical “it always happens to me.”

If any of the above sounds familiar to you and you’ve not yet considered talking to a professional, I’ll explain why you should consider it in Psychotherapy: What is it and How Can it Help Me?

What is Psychotherapy?

Our past traumas play a huge role in this. Studies show how people follow certain patterns learned at home, therefore, people who were born in hostile environments, perhaps full of violence, or drugs, among others, are more likely to fall into these when they reach adulthood. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), this is defined as a collaborative treatment between the professional (psychologist) and the patient, where the fundamental basis is dialogue.

Its function is to identify and modify certain thought patterns which prevent the complete well-being of the patient. Thus the patient can “create” new mental bypaths to deal more effectively with future problems.

What Types of Psychotherapy are there?

There are various types of psychological therapies (known en masse as ‘psychotherapies’), and one of the reasons why people don’t try to seek help from them, or give up after just one or two sessions may be due to the lack of knowledge of the various treatments and their effective application.

Here are a Few Common Psychotherapy Methods:

  • Cognitive Behavioural (CBT)
  • Emotional Rationale
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Gestalt
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Reciprocal Inhibition Psychotherapy

As I mentioned at the beginning, each person is different, therefore, what works for some may not work for others. The idea of this article is to create awareness of this and encourage people to continue trying other forms of therapy until they find the one that fits, and works.

Another form of therapy, one that differs from this more organic or biological perspective, is Psychoanalysis.

Psychotherapy, created by Sigmund Freud, and understood as a long-term therapy which uses the method of “free association” as a fundamental rule (basically it consists of saying “everything that comes to mind”) and which has as its object of study, not the individual, but the unconscious mind.

This therapy differs from others by having a psychic perspective, which goes beyond merely the organic or biological. It must be taken into account that psychoanalysis investigates people’s pasts, therefore, its process is long and it seeks the root of the problems, not only their symptoms.


The purpose of this article is to create awareness of the different therapeutic methods that exist, to encourage people to continue treating themselves and that seeking help is not considered a “weak” characteristic.

  • Each psychotherapy method has its form of action and focus, it is up to us to inform ourselves and take that step to begin our therapeutic process, sometimes called the healing process.
  • There are cases where our actions are unconscious and, therefore, we will never try to seek help for a problem that we do not even know exists!
  • This is why taking a good look at ourselves critically is essential. If you know someone who is going through a bad situation, accompany them through it, and offer your help as a friend.
  • Not everyone is a psychologist or analyst though so the suggestion to visit a professional should be made.
  • Mental health can be a very serious issue to which we can all contribute our two cents to make this world a better place. I hope this article inspires you to take pragmatic steps.

To conclude, I would like to share this sentence from the bookThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horseby Charlie Mackesy which perfectly expresses everything above: “What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said? asked the boy. ‘Help,’ said the horse. ‘Asking for help isn’t giving up,’ said the horse. ‘It’s refusing to give up.”

Have you had experience with any form of mental therapy? How did it go for you? Please comment below…

Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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