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What is psychotherapy?

For many persons who suffer from a mental illness, psychotherapy (also known as "talk therapy") allows the individuals to converse with a trained therapist to address issues such as low self-esteem, difficult childhood experiences, environmental trauma, losses of all kinds, relationship issues and the lack of any positive meaning for one's life. The most common forms of psychotherapy are cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, group therapy and marriage and family counseling.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, can take many forms, many of which can be very helpful and therapeutic for someone with depression. Therapy can be done on an individual level, or with a group, or with a spouse or other family members. It can be done in person, or over the phone or the internet. It can be delivered by a wide range of healthcare professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, primary care doctors, social workers, psychiatric nurses, therapists, and counselors.

Psychotherapy, which is also sometimes called talk therapy, is generally used in conjunction with medication to treat depression. In mild cases, psychotherapy is sometimes used as the sole means of treating depression.

In psychotherapy, patients talk with a mental health professional about strategies for dealing with their depression and symptoms, thoughts of suicide and other issues.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.