1. Health

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Low-Carb Snacks

<Back to Last Page>     <Full Glossary>

 Related Terms
• Antidepressants
• Counseling
Definition: According to Lewis Wolberg "Psychotherapy is the treatment, by psychological means, of problems of an emotional nature in which a trained person deliberately establishes a professional relationship with the patient with the object of (1) removing, modifying, or retarding existing symptoms, (2) mediating disturbed patterns of behavior, and (3) promoting positive personality growth and development." (Wolberg, The Technique of Psychotherapy, 1977).  Individual psychotherapy consists of two people sitting in a room talking - working together to help one of them make changes in their life.  Psychotherapy is similar to counseling, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.  Psychotherapy is often reserved for actual treatment of mental disorders, while counseling is often used even when there is no mental disorder present.  

Also Known As: therapy, counseling, individual therapy, group therapy, psychoanalysis (a narrower term for a specific type of psychoanalytic psychotherapy)

Common Misspellings: psycotherapy

Related Resources:

What is it?  How can it help mental disorders?

Medications or Therapy for Depression
Which works better? It may depend on who you ask.

Psychotherapy Resources 
Even more information on psychotherapy

Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Find out more about these effective techniques

Elsewhere on the Web:

About Psychotherapy
An accessible site with excellent information about psychotherapy for a lay audience. Despite the name this is not an About site.

The Center for Psychotherapeutic Studies
at the University of Sheffield in England has information and classes primarily from a psychoanalytic point-of-view.

The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
A well-regarded study by Martin Seligman and Consumer Reports.

<Back to Last Page>     <Full Glossary>

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.