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ITitle Overview of Counseling and Psychotherapy II Definition Psychotherapy is the treatment of individuals with emotional problems behavioral problems or mental illness primarily through verbal communication At one time the term psychotherapy referred to a form of psychiatric treatment used with severely disturbed individuals Counseling on the other hand refers to the treatment of people with milder psychological problems or to advice given on vocational and educational matters Counseling psychologists usually work in schools or industrial firms advising and assisting people Today the distinction between psychotherapy and counseling is quite blurred and many mental health professionals use the terms interchangeably III Presentation and Discussion Psychotherapy is an important form of treatment for many kinds of psychological problems In most types of psychotherapy as well as counseling a person discusses his or her problems one-on-one with a therapist The therapist tries to understand the persons problems and to help the individual change distressing thoughts feelings or behaviors People often seek psychotherapy when they have tried other approaches like counseling to solving a personal problem For example people who are depressed anxious or have drug or alcohol problems may find that talking to friends or family members is not enough to resolve their problems Sometimes people may want to talk to a therapist about problems they would feel uncomfortable discussing with friends or family such as being sexually abused as a child Finding a therapist to talk to who is knowledgeable about emotional problems has patients best interests at heart and is relatively objective can be extremely helpful Psychotherapy differs in two ways from counseling or from the informal help or advice that one person may give another First a trained certified or licensed therapist conducts psychotherapy In addition treatment methods in psychotherapy are guided by well-developed theories about the sources of personal problems The concept of counseling on the other hand is essentially liberal in that the
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