“Psychotherapy” is a term used to define a broad array of mental health treatment. Many people provide services under this heading; some are licensed professionals and others are not. But in general, “psychotherapy” refers to a process in which you examine problems and explore solutions with a trained therapist. This process has both benefits and risks and it requires an investment of your time and energy. It is not an exact science and there is no “right way” to proceed, either while engaged in the process or when first determining that you want to begin.
What is a Therapist?
A therapist is a person trained to help you explore emotional problems and possible solutions to them.
Ideally, he or she has completed graduate education in psychology, social work or a related field, and is licensed by your state to practice independently.
A therapist may offer advice or encourage you to explore alternative solutions that you may not have otherwise thought of; additionally, he or she may encourage you to participate in activities that promote expanded thinking and create change.
By and large, therapists are members of a professional organization and are held accountable to standards of practice and a code of ethics. Not all therapists, however, are associated with professional organizations and not all people using the title “Therapist” are licensed by your state. It may be important for you to know how your therapist was educated, what license they hold (if any), and what professional organizations they belong to.