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Psychotherapy is also referred to as talk therapy, but it is directed by a knowledgeable psychiatrist or therapist. The primary goal of this form of therapy is to change the client’s behavior by changing their thinking patterns. In most cases, the therapist will ask probing questions about the client’s particular problem, life or family, and the therapist listens to the answers while taking notes. Psychotherapy doesn’t always include taking medications, but some clients may also be receiving treatment with antidepressants or other man-made chemicals. Clients in psychotherapy learn more about how they feel and think by talking to the therapist in order to make changes in their lives. Psychotherapy is recommended for a variety of mental health conditions.

Condition 1: Treatment for Anxiety

If an individual feels anxious the majority of the time, then it will affect her life in a detrimental way. The anxiety that causes mental problems can also lead to physical difficulties with intense shaking, perspiration and an inability to sleep. While there are medications for overcoming anxiety, the chemicals cause side effects, and taking medications for long periods of time is not recommended. With psychotherapy, an individual can talk about what is bothering her in order to release her anxiety.

Condition 2: Depression Treatment

Talk therapy is often used during depression treatment to help an individual understand her overwhelming feelings of sadness. A depressed individual will isolate themselves from others, leading to a total lack of communication. In psychotherapy, a depressed person is encouraged to talk about her feelings to release their emotions. A depressed person may have problems talking during the psychotherapy, but a counselor will have questions to ask to help the client communicate effectively.

Condition 3: Help for Eating Disorders

Psychotherapy is also a type of treatment that is recommended for overcoming an eating disorder. There are numerous types of eating disorders, including overeating, binge eating or anorexia nervosa. Experts are still trying to understand the root causes of eating disorders, but the conditions are often combined with other mental disorders. In many cases, an eating disorder has a root cause, and with talk therapy, an individual can determine what triggered the problem.

Condition 4: Obsessive-compulsive Disorders

An obsessive-compulsive disorder can disrupt an individual’s life. The individual may wash their hands repetitively or might have a bad habit such as biting their fingernails. With psychotherapy, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder can release their tension with talking rather than repeating a negative behavior. Some of the things that a therapist may ask questions about are what the client is thinking right before engaging in the obsessive-compulsive behavior, and the therapist will offer ways for the client to redirect their thoughts.

Contact a Counselor Today To Begin Psychotherapy

At Mount Vernon Counseling Center in Alexandria, Va., we offer private, group or family psychotherapy sessions. In addition to assisting clients with eating disorders, depression or anxiety, there are counseling services available for problems such as coping with trauma or overcoming a divorce.