What is Psychology?
Psychologists are not medical doctors, but they are important workers in the mental health field. A psychologist studies the way people feel and think, as well as how thoughts and feelings change the way people act. When psychologists work with patients directly to help them feel better, they practice clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists diagnose mental health disorders and provide treatment in the form of therapy.
A clinical psychologist might work with individuals, families, groups, or organizations. They may see people who are struggling to work through difficult circumstances, trying to overcome bad habits or patterns in their lives, recovering from a brain injury, or suffering from mental illness such as depression.
Clinical psychologists are skilled assessors. Through talking to their patients they can: (1) identify which thoughts or feelings are causing the problems in their patient’s life, (2) help their patient acknowledge what emotional strengths they bring to face those problems, and (3) make plans for treatment.
Treatment varies widely depending on the patient’s problems and the psychologist’s areas of expertise. There hundreds of recognized modes of therapy; in addition, a patient may need to see a psychiatrist (medical doctor) for medication treatment. Whichever therapies a psychologist uses, the goal is to help patients see areas in their life where their thoughts or feelings are holding them back and causing distress. Through therapy, psychologists can encourage their patients to develop new ways to adapt so that they can lead happier lives.
What is Child Psychology?
Child psychology, sometimes called pediatric psychology, is a subspecialty of psychology that focuses on the behavioral and emotional health of children and adolescents. Child psychologists provide evaluation and treatment to children via therapy. Some of the disorders they commonly treat include:
Oppositional or defiant behavior
Depression or Anxiety
Coping with physical illness, including terminal illness and pain
The goal of psychological therapy for children is usually to teach patients skills for coping with stressors and difficult situations in their lives. They may learn or strengthen problem-solving skills. Eventually, with the help of therapy, children’s sadness, stress, or anxiety are reduced and their ability to function well is increased.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is commonly referred to as talk therapy or simply therapy. Trained therapists help and guide patients as they talk through issues in their life and problem-solve ways to make healthy changes.
The use of therapy is extremely common, with millions of people going through therapy each year in the United States alone. It can be useful for patients who want to learn coping skills when they are facing difficult issues or need to heal from past trauma. Therapy can also be a support tool when patients are facing stressful periods in their life. Essentially, therapy is helpful any time life events require more mental or emotional resources than a patient currently has. Change is a major theme of therapy, offering a supportive environment for patients to make changes to their life or themselves so that past problems stop recurring in the future.
There are several different types of psychotherapy, with the most common being cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This type of therapy focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a form of CBT that encourages acceptance and validation as well as change. Interpersonal therapy focuses on relationships and communication as a pathway to feeling better. Psychoanalysis, an older form of therapy invented by Sigmund Freud, teaches that all problems stem from the unconscious.
Although many people see therapists by themselves, not all psychotherapy is one-on-one. For example, in family therapy, the therapist treats a family as a unit. Patients can also participate in group therapy, where they meet as a group to work on issues.
Psychotherapy is a safe, powerful healing tool that can help patients lead happier and healthier lives. However, therapy is a joint effort between the patient and the therapist. Both need to work together in order for therapy to be effective.
Selecting a checkbox option will refresh the page.