The importance of psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the generalized term used to describe methods for treating mental health problems. (Photo: Freepik)
Psychotherapy, often referred to as talk therapy, is the generalized term used to describe methods for treating mental health problems.

Psychotherapy has since shifted and adapted to become more efficient.اضافة اعلان
This practice began as the “practice of psychoanalysis” or “the talking cure” and was developed by Sigmund Freud. 

According to Freud’s theory, there are three levels of consciousness from which behavior and personality are derived. The first level is the conscious mind. This includes all thoughts, memories, feelings, and wishes that we are aware of at any given moment. 

However, the preconscious mind includes thoughts or feelings that we may not necessarily be aware of but could easily be pulled into the conscious mind. Lastly, the unconscious mind contains feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories outside of conscious awareness and can be described as “hidden thoughts.” 

Freud believed that most of our problems result from pent-up trauma and certain emotions experienced during childhood that become stored in our unconscious minds. These repressed emotions can influence behavior, even though we may not consciously be aware of them.

Freud’s methods targeted dreams and childhood memories in an attempt to access the unconscious mind. The aim was to help clients change their perspective on life through a lengthy and time-consuming process. 

Nature of mental illnesses

Like many physical illnesses, mental illness can arise genetically or from outside factors such as life stresses. 

They can range from depression and anxiety — which are the most common — to more severe forms such as borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia. 

Mental illnesses can vary in how they affect people as well. Some may experience it short-term, such as a few depressive episodes, while for others, it is sometimes a life-long condition, which can impact your daily life and ways of thinking. 

Overall, it decreases the quality of life drastically, and in some cases, it can make people unable to go about their daily lives. Therefore, good mental health is just as important as good physical health. 

Types of psychotherapy

Psychotherapy aims to help eliminate symptoms that are caused by different mental illnesses and improve quality of life. Psychotherapists use several types of therapy depending on the illness and the person receiving the treatment. 

These different approaches can also be combined depending on the person’s needs. 

The first and most common type is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT aims to help someone change their harmful thoughts and behaviors and replace them with more functional ones. 

CBT focuses on the current problems that a person is facing and how to solve them rationally by changing their thought process to be able to handle any other similar issues that may arise in the future. 

This method has proven to be effective in helping people with depression, anxiety, trauma, and eating disorders. 

CBT also has many subsets of therapy, such as dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT) which focuses on helping regulate emotions and is often used to treat people with chronic suicidal thoughts, borderline personality disorder, various eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The second type of psychotherapy is interpersonal therapy (IPT). It is a short-term form of treatment that helps identify and understand underlying interpersonal issues relating to relationships or communication between people. 

IPT helps with finding ways to express emotions healthily and improve communication between people. This is most effective in treating depression.

The last form of therapy is supportive therapy. This form of treatment helps people build and develop recourses on their own by developing their understanding of their illness and their potentials and limitation.

It could help build self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and strengthen coping mechanisms by learning new skills that help them short and long term.
Many of these types of therapy are often combined to produce the best outcome for the patient. These methods can also be combined with appropriate medication to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. 

Mental health in Jordan

More than 450 million people struggle with mental illnesses worldwide, yet this concept was highly misunderstood for many years. In 2008, it was recognized that mental health services needed to be more available in Jordan by the WHO. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized mental well-being as a critical component for overall health. But, Jordan was identified as a country that needed improvement when it came to providing mental health resources. 

Since WHO recognized mental wellbeing as linked to overall wellbeing, there has been a global shift from purely hospital care to community care. This was done by integrating mental health into primary health care. 
There is still a lack of mental health services for children as only 12 percent of schools offer counseling services.

However, since mental health is integrated into our overall wellness, we should not let it go unchecked. 

Talk therapy along with medication, if needed, has shown a high success rate, with about 75 percent of people stating that it was beneficial for them. 
There are many recourses available to those who need help finding a trusted therapist. Bettering your mental state will ultimately result in a marked improvement in your overall quality of life as well. 

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