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Understanding How Psychotherapy Works

Understanding How Psychotherapy Works

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 19% of Americans sought treatment for mental health conditions in 2019. From phobias and panic attacks to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, a broad spectrum of mental health issues affect people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Only 9.5% of them choose behavioral health therapy as part of their treatment, which is unfortunate, considering about 75% of those who try it realize significant improvement. 

Our goal at Alpha Care Medical is to provide compassionate, professional care for our patients throughout the state of Delaware using a multidisciplinary approach that includes a variety of behavioral health techniques. Here, we take a closer look at psychotherapy and how it might help you overcome some of the challenging issues in your life.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a collaborative effort between you and your therapist to help you understand the root cause of your emotional and mental challenges and develop the skills to cope with them in a healthy way.

Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy involves honest dialogue in a supportive environment. This safe and open conversation allows you to explain your emotions, feelings, and behaviors to a nonjudgemental, neutral, and objective professional. 

We help you identify patterns of negative thoughts and behaviors that limit your ability to function fully in social, personal, and professional settings, and then we help you develop skills to change those thoughts and behaviors. 

Psychotherapy is a process that may take months or years of regular sessions to explore the underlying issues that are causing your mental health challenges. At the conclusion of your treatment, you can expect to have a new perspective on your mental health and be capable of controlling your thoughts and behaviors in the future.

The process of psychotherapy

It’s normal to feel a little nervous about your first psychotherapy session, so we’ve put together a brief outline of the process along with some helpful tips to ensure the success of your treatment.

Preparing for psychotherapy

Most psychotherapy sessions last about an hour, so clear your schedule accordingly. 

Your first appointment will include a lot of introductory information, such as insurance or form of payment, basic medical history, a list of medications you’re taking, and identification, so make sure you have the paperwork you need. 

Many of our patients like to bring a notebook along as well, so they can jot down what happens during their sessions and highlight key information that arises.

If you have any questions or concerns, bring them to your first session. We want you to be as informed and comfortable as possible.

The early stages of psychotherapy

When you begin psychotherapy at Alpha Care Medical, you can expect a lot of questions as our therapist gets to know you. After the initial introductions, we might start with a question, such as, “What brought you here today?” Even if you don’t know what’s causing your issues, you can say something like, “I don’t know. I’m just angry all the time.” 

This initial conversation can help your therapist understand what you’re comfortable talking about and the nature of your mental health. 

We may also ask you about your family and those close to you, the nature of your relationships, their history with mental health issues — if any — and any other symptoms you might be experiencing, such as loss of appetite, violent outbreaks, crying spells, etc.

Once you have a few sessions under your belt, your therapist should be able to present you with some goals and a game plan for the rest of your treatment sessions.

Ongoing psychotherapy

Over time, as you and your therapist build a stronger trust, your conversations can dive deeper into your feelings and emotions. You can talk about your depression, anxiety, relationship problems, anger issues, and other emotional challenges to bring clarity to the problem.

Eventually, you’ll move into the problem-solving stage as you work with your therapist to devise strategies to help you cope with and change your negative emotions and behaviors. 

You may benefit from various psychotherapy techniques, such as role playing, to experiment with new verbal responses to triggering stimuli or to get you more comfortable in social situations.

Sometimes we assign “homework,” skills that you can put into practice right away to reinforce the progress you make during your psychotherapy sessions. 

Is psychotherapy right for you?

There are many reasons to consider psychotherapy:

These are just a few examples of the types of issues psychotherapy addresses. To find out if psychotherapy can help you, call 800-818-8680 to book an appointment with Alpha Care Medical today. We have locations in Seaford, Millsboro, Harrington, and Dover, Delaware.

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