Sign Up For FREE
Health After 50 Alerts!
Get FREE Health Advice
From America's Leading Doctors


Get the latest health news sent straight to your inbox for FREE. Check all the boxes below for the topics that interest you.
We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Health After 50

Advantages and Disadvantages of Psychotherapy

Comments (0)

Most people think of psychotherapy simply as counseling. In fact, the term "psychotherapy" is used to describe a variety of talk therapies that treat emotional, behavioral, personality and psychiatric disorders. 

Psychotherapy involves a commitment to a series of appointments with a licensed mental health professional, enabling a relationship to form between the therapist and the individual. This relationship focuses on helping the person to cope with or avoid factors contributing to his or her condition, with the overall goals being personal development and self-understanding. Like any medical treatment, psychotherapy has advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages of psychotherapy. A major advantage of psychotherapy over treatment with medication is that psychotherapy has few physiological side effects -- an especially important consideration for older adults who are often taking more than one type of medication. In addition, psychotherapy offers the possibility of effective treatment for those who have not responded to medications. 

Disadvantages of psychotherapy. A disadvantage is that psychotherapy typically takes longer than drug therapy to produce benefits that are noticeable to the person receiving treatment -- six to eight weeks or longer for psychotherapy, compared with four to six weeks for medication. Also, psychotherapy alone is not effective in people with severe depression or bipolar disorder. 

Depending on the severity of the depression and other factors specific to each individual, a therapist selects a combination of techniques from the range of psychotherapeutic approaches. Regardless of the particular approach, the essential foundation of all psychotherapy is the establishment of a trusting relationship with the therapist. This allows the patient to share confidences, life experiences and problems. If psychotherapy alone leads to no improvement by six weeks, or if a person has only a partial or weak response by 12 weeks, medication should be strongly considered. 

Posted in Depression and Anxiety on April 19, 2011


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Depression and Anxiety Health Alerts?

Post a Comment

Comments

Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Scientific American Health After 50 or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Post a Comment


Already a subscriber?

Login

Forgot your password?

New to Health After 50?

Register to submit your comments.

(example: yourname@domain.com)

Log-in:

Forgot Password?

Health Topic Pages