Let us understand what is Talk Therapy!
Talk therapy is a layman's term used to refer to refers to the employment of talking as a method for cure of various disorders. A more technical, boarder and inclusive term for talk therapy is psychotherapy, something that the psychologists and psychiatrist use to refer to the therapeutic intervention which aims at speedy prognosis with or without medical support. Here on wards, we will try to understand what psychotherapy actually means.
Psychotherapy is the treatment procedure, which employs psychological means, of problems which is of an emotional nature. A trained person deliberately establishes a professional (therapeutic) relationship with the patient with the following objectives (1) removing, modifying, or retarding existing symptoms, (2) mediating disturbed patterns of behavior, and (3) promoting positive personality growth and development. This formulation is being further elaborated.
Psychotherapy is the treatment. No matter how much one attempts to dilute what one does in psychotherapy, it constitutes a form of treatment. Such terms as reeducation, helping process, and guidance are just description of what happens in the course of treatment and do not really disguise the therapeutic nature of the process. Forms of intervention other than therapy also exists in the mental health field.
Psychological means. Psychotherapy is a generic term that covers the entire spectrum of psychological treatment methods. These range from designed maneuvers of the therapist-patient relationship to the evidently fashioned to change value systems, to tactics aimed at intrapsychic processes, and to the techniques of conditioning that attempt to alter neural mechanisms. The repertoire of strategies is therefore legion, and formats are varied, e.g., directed toward an individuals, couples, and groups. They are all, however, dependent upon the establishment of adequate communication, verbal and non-verbal.
Problems of an emotional nature. Emotional problems are novice and diverse, influencing every facet of human functioning. The emotional problems manifests in distortions in the individual's psychic, somatic, interpersonal, and community life. Manifestations of emotional illness are hence divergent, involving the total human being. In view of this totality of disturbance, it is arbitrary if not incorrect, to dissociate psychic from interpersonal, social, and psychophysiological difficulties, aspects of which are usually concurrent, although they are sometimes not obvious.
A trained person. While seeking for relief, the individual involves oneself in a relationship with a friend or authority. The motivations that promote such a relationship are disabling symptoms or a understanding that one's happiness and productivity are being sabotaged by inner forces that one is neither able to understand nor at a control. Sometimes the consequences of this relationship are enlisted in a restoration of homeostasis, a product of healing forces liberated by the helping process. Conversely, particularly when attempts are made to handle the sufferer's emotional turmoil in depth, the relationship might turn disastrous to both participants. To deal quite adequately with an emotional problem, one requires a high degree of skill that may best be acquired through extensive postgraduate and specialization training and experience.
Deliberately establishing a professional relationship. The therapeutic relationship, the core of the therapeutic process, is deliberately planned, designed and nurtured by the therapist. Unlike non-professional relationships, which are part of the social nature of man and develop at times without conscious efforts, the therapeutic relationship is a collaborative undertaking, started and maintained on a professional level toward specific therapeutic objectives. More than one therapist (cotherapist, multiple therapists) can come to work together.
The patient. An individual who is on the receiving end of the psychotherapeutic treatment is best called a patient rather than some other designation such as a client. The therapist may make the session including more than one patient during a session, as in marital or group therapy.
The aim is removing existing symptoms. A primary goal of the psychotherapy is to eliminate the patient's suffering besides removing the complications imposed by symptoms.
Modifying existing symptoms. In-spite of all efforts for complete relief, certain circumstances may intervene against this objective. Chief deterrents are inadequate motivation, limitations in the patient's available time or finances and diminutive ego strength. These in-turn imposes restrictions on the extent of help that can be offered and make for modification rather than cure of the patient's symptoms, when applicable.
Retarding existing symptoms. Readers must understand that there are some malignant forms of emotional illness, such as certain fulminating schizophrenic and organic brain disorders, where psychotherapy, no matter how adroitly applied, serves only to delay an inevitable deterioration in the process. This palliative effect is eminently worthwhile, nevertheless, often helping to preserve and maintain the patient's contact with reality.
Mediating disturbed patterns of behavior. The recent years observation suggests that many occupational, educational, interpersonal, marital, and social problems are emotionally created has extended the use of psychotherapy into fields hitherto considered provinces of the psychologist, sociologist, teacher, religious leader, and lawmaker. Realization that a single characteristic structure involved in all emotional illness has helped to broadened the objectives of psychotherapy from mere symptom relief or removal to restructuring of disturbed interpersonal patterns and relationships.
Promoting positive personality growth and development. The final use of psychotherapy is like a vehicle for personality maturation. This has created and ushered a new dimension into the field of psychotherapy-a dimension that deals, with problems of immaturity of the so-called normal person on one hand and, on the other, with characterologic difficulties which are associated with inhibited growth that was previously considered inaccessible to treatment.
Here the objective of psychotherapy is at a resolution of blocks in psychosocial development in order that the individual might aspire to a more complete and creative self-fulfillment, develop a more productive attitudes toward life, and develop and maintain more gratifying relationships with people. The goals of psychotherapy can thereby be looked at as extend from the limited objective of helping to control symptoms to the activation of the rich resources of the human mind from neurotic obstructions that thwart its purpose and restricts its growth.