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Phototherapy and Cognitive Therapy are Just Two of Many Types of Psychotherapy


Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional and mental disorders using various types of psychotherapy and psychological techniques to encourage and help with communication of conflicts. Psychotherapy sessions give the psychotherapist insight into the patient’s problems. They help the patient make the necessary changes in his or her behavior, leading to personal growth and improvement in their vocational and social functioning. There are many types of psychotherapy sessions that help people learn better ways to recognize, cope, and solve their problems. Depending upon the person and nature of their illness, there are individual, group, family, or couples therapy sessions. Mental illness has many negative symptoms such as anger, depression, hopelessness, stress, agitation, and despair, which psychotherapy can help relieve. Therapy helps patients regain feelings of pleasure, happiness, a state of well-being, and a sense of some control and contentment in their life. All types of psychotherapy can range from only a few sessions to sessions that continue over a very long time.

One of many types of psychotherapy is cognitive therapy, based on modifying behaviors, beliefs, assumptions, and cognitions with the intent of influencing or regulating disturbed emotions. Used to treat many kinds of psychopathology and neurosis including anxiety and mood disorders, the general approach evolved out of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and behavior modification. These types of psychotherapy techniques vary, depending upon the particular issue or client but commonly include:

• Gradually dealing with activities, which patients may have intentionally avoided
• Keeping a diary or list of important events and the patients associated behaviors, thoughts, and feelings
• Learning and trying different ways of reacting and behaving
• Testing and questioning assumptions, cognitions, beliefs, and evaluations that might be unrealistic, harmful, or useless
• Distraction and relaxation techniques

Interpersonal psychotherapy is one of the newer types of psychotherapy. Originally developed as an individual, time-limited, outpatient psychotherapy treatment for adults diagnosed with severe or moderate non-delusional clinical depression, there have been modifications made over the years. The modifications to interpersonal psychotherapy include use with older adults and adolescents, post-partum depression, bulimia, couples counseling, and bipolar disorder.

Another of several types of psychotherapy is phototherapy, also known as light or bright light therapy. This therapy consists of exposing patients to specific light wavelengths using fluorescent lamps, lasers, full spectrum, very bright light, or LED’s. It has shown to be very effectual in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called winter depression. People suffering from SAD experience depressive symptoms during the winter but have normal mental health during the rest of the year.

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