Psychotherapy: Definition, Types, Effectiveness, and Finding the Right Psychotherapist

Nov 23, 2023

Psychotherapy is a journey of healing and self-discovery, a conversation between a compassionate professional and someone seeking to navigate life’s complexities. It’s an alliance that promotes understanding, uncovers solutions and cultivates personal growth in a safe and supportive space. The process is delicate, personal, and tailored to individual needs.

Thrive Downtown, Vancouver Counselling Centre can help you overcome anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship issues. We believe that everyone has the potential to thrive, not just survive. Psychotherapies from our mental health professionals can provide you with a more fulfilling life.


What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. It involves the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behaviour and overcome problems in desired ways. It aims to improve one’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviours, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills.


What is the Purpose of Psychotherapy?

The primary purpose of psychotherapy is to help individuals understand themselves better, create healthy coping mechanisms, and address various mental health issues and emotional challenges. It’s about helping them handle their feelings and develop a deeper comprehension of themselves for enriched lives. Psychotherapy provides the framework for clients to achieve personal insight and foster lasting change.


What is a Psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist is a trained professional who assists individuals in exploring and understanding their emotions, thoughts, and behaviour. The aim is to help people navigate through their personal challenges, improve their mental health, and enhance their overall well-being.

The journey with a psychotherapist is a deeply personal one. It involves creating a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental space where you can express your innermost thoughts and feelings. This therapeutic relationship is built on trust and empathy, allowing you to explore various aspects of your life in a supportive environment.

Psychotherapists may employ a variety of therapeutic techniques tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. These can include cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps in identifying and changing negative thought patterns, or other approaches, such as psychodynamic therapy, which delves into past experiences to understand present behaviours.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s a step towards self-discovery and healing, allowing you to learn coping strategies and skills that can lead to a more fulfilling and balanced life.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or just need someone to talk to, know that Thrive’s here to support you. Together, we can work towards understanding your feelings, overcoming challenges, and fostering a sense of peace and well-being in your life.


What is Talk Therapy?

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Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a form of treatment aimed at helping individuals understand and resolve their emotional difficulties and personal challenges. It provides a safe, confidential space where you can discuss your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours with a trained professional. The goal is to gain deeper insight into your life and identify strategies to help you manage or overcome your issues.

In talk therapy, the relationship between you and your therapist is central. It’s built on trust, openness, and understanding, allowing you to express yourself without judgment. This form of therapy can be particularly effective for dealing with a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as life transitions and interpersonal relationships.

During sessions, you might explore your past experiences, current life situations, and future concerns. The therapist might employ various psychological techniques depending on their approach and your specific needs.


Types of Psychotherapy

There are various psychotherapy approaches, each designed to cater to diverse needs and issues. From traditional to contemporary, these psychotherapy methods are the paths toward healing and growth, with each type holding its unique principles and techniques.


Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is grounded in the belief that unconscious processes manifest in a person’s behaviour. It increases self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour. The therapy involves exploring unresolved issues and conflicts, and the therapist helps the client bring these to the forefront of consciousness to find a resolution.

Psychodynamic therapy is often exploratory, looking for patterns or significant events that may play a role in the client’s current difficulties. It allows clients to understand the root causes of their distress and work towards resolving them.


Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy focuses on the relationships a person has with others to improve communication patterns and the way they relate to others. It’s predicated on the idea that personal relationships are at the center of psychological problems.

Interpersonal therapy helps clients evaluate their interactions and improve how they relate to others. It’s highly structured and usually short-term, dealing with here-and-now issues rather than delving into the past.


Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a structured, hands-on approach focused on the present. It’s predicated on the concept that thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and that changing negative thought patterns can change feelings and behaviours.

CBT involves helping the client recognize these negative patterns and employing strategies to challenge and overcome them. It’s particularly effective for anxiety and depression, offering practical tools for everyday problem-solving.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT that combines standard cognitive-behavioural techniques for emotion regulation and reality testing. It is based on the concept of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness.

DBT is particularly effective for those who experience intense emotions. Through individual and group therapy, clients learn to manage their emotions and reduce self-destructive behaviours.


Supportive Therapy

Supportive therapy employs guidance and encouragement to help patients develop their own resources. It’s based on empathy and a positive relationship between therapist and client.

In supportive therapy, the therapist offers reassurance, advice, and companionship. It is non-confrontational and maintains self-esteem and skills for coping with stress.


Creative Therapy

Creative therapies are approaches that use arts-based activities in a therapeutic environment with the guidance of a trained therapist. The therapy includes music, drama, dance, writing, or visual arts.

Creative therapy helps clients express themselves, explore their emotions, and use the creative process to manage and work through personal issues. It’s particularly beneficial for those who might find traditional talk therapy challenging.


Specialized Forms of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy extends into specialized forms tailored to suit the unique needs and psychological challenges of different age groups. These therapies adapt the core principles of traditional methods to the specific developmental and contextual experiences of the individuals they are designed to help.


Child-Centered Play Therapy

Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) operates on the premise that play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression. It allows them to express their feelings and thoughts in a way that is most natural for them. Through play, children can communicate their inner world that might otherwise remain inaccessible.

Mental health professionals in CCPT therapy observe and interact with children in the play setting, understanding and gaining insights into the child’s problems. They provide a safe and supportive environment for the child to play out feelings and experiences, facilitating healing and growth without direct interrogation or probing.


Adolescent Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Adolescent Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy meets the distinctive psychological needs of teenagers. It addresses the unique challenges adolescents face, such as identity issues, peer pressure, and the struggle for independence.

A therapist in CBT helps young clients develop skills to challenge dysfunctional beliefs and cope with diverse social and emotional issues. Through a collaborative relationship, therapists guide them to better understand their thought patterns and equip them with strategies to deal with complex adolescent-specific concerns.


How Effective is Psychotherapy?

The efficacy of psychotherapy has been the subject of extensive research, with studies generally indicating positive outcomes for a variety of mental health issues. Its effectiveness often depends on the individual’s circumstances, the skill of the therapist, and the type of psychotherapy.


What if Psychotherapy Doesn’t Seem to be Working?

It’s not uncommon to feel like psychotherapy isn’t making the progress you expected. If this happens, the first step is to communicate openly with your therapist about your concerns. Adjustments to the approach, addressing potential barriers, and revisiting the goals of therapy are common solutions. You must consider that some therapeutic benefits might only become apparent over time, and progress isn’t always linear.

In some cases, a therapist might suggest trying different psychotherapy techniques or refer you to another professional who may have a different approach or specialty that is more aligned with your needs. Remember, the therapeutic journey is very personal, and finding the right fit is crucial for success.


Is Psychotherapy Better Than No Treatment?

Numerous studies have supported the notion that individuals who undergo psychotherapy are better off than those who do not receive treatment at all. The benefits of psychotherapy extend beyond symptom relief, often improving quality of life, increasing functionality, and providing coping strategies for dealing with life’s challenges. It’s a proactive approach to mental health that empowers individuals to work towards their psychological well-being.


What is the Most Effective Psychotherapy?

Determining the “most effective” form of psychotherapy largely depends on the individual’s specific needs, particular issues, and personal preferences. Different approaches, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, or Interpersonal Therapy, may work better for different issues.

No single form of psychotherapy consistently outperforms others across all problems. However, the therapeutic alliance is universally recognized as a critical component of effective therapy.


How Does Psychotherapy Help?

Psychotherapy helps individuals handle stress, understand patterns in their behaviour that may affect their well-being, and change those patterns when necessary. It creates a supportive environment that allows people to talk openly with someone objective, neutral, and nonjudgmental. The process often leads to increased self-awareness and a healthier, more adaptive way of coping with life’s challenges.

Through various techniques, psychotherapy helps to mitigate the distressing symptoms of mental health conditions. Clients can work through personal issues and learn new strategies to improve their mental health and enhance their quality of life.


What are the Goals of Psychotherapy?

The primary goals of psychotherapy involve fostering a sense of well-being, improving mental health, and bolstering mechanisms for coping with stress, trauma, or adversity. Below are some outlined goals for psychotherapy.

  • Self-Discovery: One of the profound objectives of psychotherapy is to facilitate a journey of self-discovery. It helps you understand your personality traits and characteristics, whether you have an extrovert or an introverted personality. Clients often uncover layers of their personality, revisit their values, and reassess life’s priorities through therapy. It leads to greater self-awareness, which is pivotal in making meaningful changes in one’s life.
  • Empowerment: Psychotherapy shifts individuals from a state of passivity to active agency in their lives. Clients explore past patterns and current behaviours to recognize they have the power to control their responses and actions, leading to a stronger sense of self-efficacy and empowerment.
  • Improved Communication: A significant goal is to help clients express themselves more clearly and assertively. It is crucial in relationships and personal boundaries. Effective communication skills also lead to improved relationships, both personally and professionally.
  • Behavioural Change: Psychotherapy allows you to identify and modify problematic behaviours. It helps you understand the underlying thoughts and emotions that drive these behaviours, allowing you to enact positive change, and create a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
  • Emotional Management: Many people turn to psychotherapy to learn how to manage overwhelming emotions. Whether it’s coping with sadness, managing anxiety, or controlling anger, therapy provides strategies for recognizing emotional triggers and responding to them more healthily.
  • Resilience Building: Life inevitably brings challenges, and resilience is what allows individuals to bounce back. Psychotherapy equips clients with coping strategies and a growth mindset and aids in developing resilience, enabling them to face adversity without being overtaken by it.


Understanding Difference Between Psychotherapy, Therapy, and Counselling

While the terms psychotherapy, therapy, and counselling are often used interchangeably, they refer to different aspects of the mental health support process. Each has its unique focus and methods, although they overlap in their goals to help individuals overcome challenges and promote mental well-being.


How is Psychotherapy Different From Therapy?

Psychotherapy is a term that generally refers to a more intensive, long-term process focusing on a broader range of issues. The goal is often to change behaviour patterns or self-destructive habits and deal with complex mental health conditions.

Therapy, on the other hand, is a broader term that can encompass psychotherapy but also includes less intensive treatment approaches. Therapy might be short-term and focus on immediate problems or coping strategies. In everyday language, however, “therapy” can be used as a shorthand for psychotherapy.

Factor Psychotherapy Therapy
Duration Often long-term Can be short-term or long-term
Focus Deep-seated issues, behaviour patterns Immediate concerns, general support
Intensity Intensive, can delve into past experiences Can vary, often less intensive
Techniques Specific to the condition (e.g., CBT, DBT) Can be more general or eclectic


What is the Difference Between Psychotherapy and Counselling?

Counselling typically refers to a shorter-term treatment that centres on behaviour patterns and specific problems affecting the present. It is often focused on providing guidance and support for particular issues or life transitions.

Psychotherapy is more in-depth, dealing with chronic or recurrent emotional problems. The psychotherapeutic process delves into past experiences and deep-seated personal issues, often requiring more time and a structured approach.

Factor Psychotherapy Counselling
Duration Long-term Short-term, focused
Depth Deep-seated issues, behaviour patterns Immediate problems, decision-making
Scope Broad, looking at the overall psychological makeup Narrower, issue-specific
Techniques Complex techniques for complex issues Can be more general or eclectic


Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Counsellor

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The roles of psychologists, psychotherapists, and counsellors often intersect, but they also possess distinct qualifications and areas of expertise. A psychologist typically holds a degree in psychology and may offer testing, assessment, and therapy. Psychotherapists and counsellors are professionals trained to conduct therapy and counselling sessions, with the former often equipped to tackle deeper, long-standing psychological issues.


Do I Need Psychotherapy or Counselling?

The decision between psychotherapy and counselling depends on the nature of the issues you’re facing. Counselling is generally well-suited for dealing with specific problems or situations, like stress management or coping with life changes, and is often short-term.

Psychotherapy, conversely, is designed to address more complex mental health conditions and patterns of behaviour and is typically a longer, more in-depth process. If your challenges are acute and clearly defined, counselling may be sufficient. However, if they are pervasive and have a significant impact on your life, psychotherapy might be the more appropriate choice.


Do I Need to See a Psychologist or Psychotherapist?

The choice between a psychologist and a psychotherapist largely depends on your specific needs. Psychologists perform psychological testing and provide diagnoses, as well as therapy, which can be critical for understanding complex mental health conditions.

Psychotherapists can also offer therapy but may not conduct psychological testing. If you require a diagnosis or wish to explore psychological assessment, a psychologist could be the right professional. A psychotherapist can assist with ongoing therapeutic support.


Is a Psychotherapist Better Than a Counsellor?

Determining whether a psychotherapist is “better” than a counsellor is not a matter of hierarchy but of fit for your individual needs. Psychotherapists generally have training to address various mental health issues, including those that are more severe and entrenched.

Counsellors often focus on shorter-term guidance and problem-solving strategies. If your concern is a deep-rooted psychological issue, a psychotherapist might be more suitable. For more situational problems or to develop coping strategies, a counsellor could be the better option.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of either depends on their expertise, your rapport with them, and their alignment with your therapeutic goals.


How Does Psychotherapy Work?

Psychotherapy creates a safe and confidential environment where individuals can explore their feelings, beliefs, and behaviours. Therapists employ various methods and techniques to help clients understand the roots of their problems, identify and change destructive patterns, and develop healthier coping strategies. This therapeutic process facilitates personal growth and is tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.


What are the 4 Stages of Psychotherapy?

The journey through psychotherapy typically follows four main stages, each crucial for progress and healing. These stages facilitate a structured approach to therapy, allowing both the therapist and client to navigate through the complex process of psychological change.


Stage 1: Building a Relationship

The initial stage is all about establishing trust and rapport. It’s essential for creating a comfortable and secure space for the client to open up. During this time, the therapist will gather information about the client’s issues, history, and goals for therapy.

Stage 2: Identifying Issues

Once a therapeutic relationship is established, the focus shifts to identifying and understanding the client’s specific challenges. It involves exploring patterns, unconscious motives, and the possible origins of current problems.

Stage 3: Working Through

This is often the longest stage, where the client and therapist work together to address and work through the identified issues. Therapeutic strategies are employed to promote insight, foster behavioural change, and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Stage 4: Termination

The final stage is the resolution and conclusion of the therapy process. Goals are reviewed, progress is consolidated, and plans for maintaining gains post-therapy are discussed. It’s also a time to address feelings about ending the therapeutic relationship.


Does Psychotherapy Work?

The efficacy of psychotherapy has been well-documented across numerous studies, showcasing its benefits for a range of mental health issues. It alleviates symptoms and fosters resilience, self-awareness, and emotional regulation. Success in therapy depends on the client’s active participation, the skill of the therapist, and the quality of the therapeutic relationship.

Continuous research and clinical experience have shown that psychotherapy can lead to significant improvements in people’s lives. When conducted properly, it empowers personal transformation, offering lasting effects that go beyond symptom relief. Many individuals find that psychotherapy contributes to improved relationships, better stress management, and a greater sense of well-being.


What Does Psychotherapy Involve?

Psychotherapy involves a series of structured sessions where a therapist works with an individual, couple, family, or group to address psychological issues. These sessions are designed to explore emotions, thoughts, and behaviours in a safe and supportive environment. Through conversation and therapeutic techniques, therapists guide clients toward deeper self-understanding and are empowered to make positive changes in their lives.

Psychotherapy can include a variety of activities beyond talking. Depending on the therapeutic approach, it may involve role-playing exercises, homework assignments, journaling, relaxation techniques, and other strategies to help understand and manage thoughts and emotions. The specific methods used are often tailored to the client’s needs, making psychotherapy a flexible and responsive treatment modality.


Psychotherapy in Different Settings

A cozy and welcoming counselling psychotherapy room with plush sofas, personal touches on the walls in form of photos, and ample natural light streaming in through large windows.

Psychotherapy is adaptable to various environments, each offering unique challenges and opportunities. Therapists may work in private practice, but many also operate within institutional settings. They address the specific needs of particular populations, tailoring their approaches to suit the context of the environment.


Psychotherapy in Schools

In educational settings, psychotherapy often focuses on addressing behavioural issues, improving student mental health, and enhancing academic performance. School-based therapists may offer individual counselling, group sessions, or larger programs aimed at preventing bullying, promoting inclusivity, and managing stress related to schooling and adolescence. Therapists provide support within the school environment, contributing to a more positive educational experience.


Psychotherapy in the Workplace

Workplace psychotherapy can be pivotal in managing work-related stress, resolving interpersonal conflicts, and improving overall employee well-being. Often conducted through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), psychotherapy is confidential. It can include crisis intervention, stress management workshops, or ongoing support for employees dealing with personal or professional issues.


Psychotherapy in the Criminal Justice System

Psychotherapy within the criminal justice system addresses the complex psychological needs of individuals within this setting. Therapists may work with offenders to tackle underlying issues contributing to criminal behaviour, such as substance abuse or aggression, and to reduce recidivism. In addition, therapy can support victims and law enforcement personnel, helping them to process traumatic experiences related to crime.


The Role of Medication in Psychotherapy

Medication can be a valuable component of treatment for many mental health disorders, often used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy addresses behavioural issues, coping mechanisms, and thought patterns. Meanwhile, medication helps manage symptoms and improve neurological function, making therapy more effective for some individuals.


Combining Medication and Psychotherapy

Integrating medication with psychotherapy can enhance treatment outcomes for certain conditions. Medication may alleviate symptoms to a degree that allows individuals to engage more fully in therapy sessions. On the other hand, psychotherapy can provide strategies to manage the condition beyond the scope of medication.

The combination is often seen in the treatment of severe depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder, where medication stabilizes mood or reduces anxiety, thereby facilitating a more productive therapeutic process. The decision to combine treatments is made on a case-by-case basis. It often involves a collaborative approach between different healthcare professionals to ensure the most effective treatment plan.


Getting Started with Psychotherapy

Embarking on psychotherapy is a positive step toward improving mental health and well-being. Psychotherapists recognize the need for help, select the right therapist and prepare for the initial sessions. Each journey is personal and starts with the crucial decision to seek support.


When Should You Consider Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy becomes a consideration when emotional difficulties, thoughts, or behaviours start to significantly impact daily life, relationships, or work. If you notice persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or other emotional distress that don’t improve, psychotherapy can offer relief and coping strategies.


How to Choose a Psychotherapist?

Choosing a psychotherapist involves considering their qualifications, specialization, approach to treatment, and your comfort with them. It’s essential to research their credentials, seek referrals, and possibly meet for a consultation to ensure they align with your needs and goals.


How to Prepare for Psychotherapy?

To prepare for psychotherapy, reflect on what you wish to address and your goals for treatment. Being open-minded and ready to share your thoughts and feelings will be beneficial. It also helps note down any significant life events, symptoms, or questions you have for your therapist.


What to Expect During Psychotherapy?

During psychotherapy, expect a safe, confidential space to discuss your concerns. Initial sessions typically involve history taking and goal setting. As therapy progresses, expect to explore various aspects of your life, learn coping strategies, and work through challenging emotions or thoughts.


During and After Psychotherapy

Throughout the process of psychotherapy, individuals engage in a structured dialogue with their therapist to address and overcome personal challenges. Post-therapy, clients often find they have developed new skills and insights that continue to shape their mental health journey.


How Long Does Psychotherapy Last?

The duration of psychotherapy can vary widely, ranging from a few sessions to several years. Short-term therapies may last for 6-12 sessions, while long-term therapies can extend longer, depending on the individual’s needs, treatment goals, and progress.


How Much Does Psychotherapy Cost?

The cost of psychotherapy can differ based on the therapist’s qualifications and the length and frequency of sessions. Some therapists offer sliding scale fees based on income, while insurance may cover part or all of the cost, depending on the policy.


How Do I Know When I’m Ready to Stop?

Deciding when to stop psychotherapy should be a collaborative process with your therapist based on your progress and comfort level. Indicators include meeting treatment goals, having new coping skills, and experiencing a sustained improvement in daily functioning.

What Happens After Psychotherapy Ends?

After psychotherapy ends, you can expect to utilize the tools and coping strategies learned to maintain mental wellness. It’s normal to continue reflecting on therapy insights, and some may choose to have periodic “maintenance” sessions.

Personal growth doesn’t stop at therapy’s end; it’s an ongoing process where the self-awareness and skills gained continue to influence and support daily life. Additionally, a post-therapy plan can be developed, which may include steps to take if old patterns resurface and how to engage in continued self-care.


Finding a Psychotherapist

Securing the right psychotherapist is pivotal for successful therapy. It involves researching, reflecting on personal needs, and possibly consulting healthcare providers for recommendations to find a qualified professional who feels like the right fit.


Digital Health Options for Psychotherapy

With the rise of telehealth, digital options for psychotherapy have expanded, offering flexibility and accessibility. Each option serves a unique purpose, from providing full therapy sessions online to supplementing therapy with digital tools.

  • Teletherapy Platforms: Websites and apps connecting clients with therapists for virtual sessions.
  • Online Support Groups: Facilitated spaces where individuals can share experiences and offer mutual support.
  • Therapy Apps: Mobile applications providing tools and resources to complement therapy.

If you’re searching for online counselling services that center around your well-being and offer personalized support, look no further than Thrive Downtown Counselling Centre. We understand that taking this step can feel daunting, but rest assured, you’re not alone in your journey. With Cam Wharram, a dedicated and compassionate registered clinical counsellor, on our team, you’ll receive the care and expertise you deserve. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or relationship issues or simply need a safe space to explore your thoughts and emotions, we’re here for you. Our online counselling services provide the convenience and flexibility you need to prioritize your mental health from the comfort of your home.

Contact us today and take that first step towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. Your well-being is our utmost priority, and we’re committed to supporting you every step of the way.


What to Look for in a Psychotherapist?

Choosing the right psychotherapist is a critical step that can greatly influence the effectiveness of the treatment. It’s about finding a qualified professional with whom you can build a strong therapeutic relationship, often considered the cornerstone of successful therapy. When searching for a psychotherapist, consider the following:

  • Credentials and Experience: Verify licensure and expertise in areas relevant to your concerns.
  • Therapeutic Approach: Ensure their methods align with your preferences and therapy goals.
  • Compatibility: Seek a therapist whose communication style and demeanour resonate with you.
  • Availability and Accessibility: Look for therapists who can accommodate your schedule and are accessible to you.


Can a Psychotherapist Diagnose?

Psychotherapists are typically trained to recognize and understand mental health disorders, and many are qualified to diagnose these conditions. It is important to acknowledge that the ability to diagnose depends on the therapist’s credentials and experience. Some psychotherapists hold licenses that permit them to diagnose mental health disorders, while others may focus on providing therapy and work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals for diagnosis.

When a psychotherapist does diagnose, they use their clinical training, assessment tools, and observation of symptoms to determine if a client meets the criteria for a specific mental health disorder. The process is vital as it informs the treatment plan and helps track the progress of therapy. However, if a psychotherapist is not qualified to diagnose, they will refer the client to a psychologist or psychiatrist who can.


Psychotherapy with Thrive Downtown

Starting psychotherapy can be a big step toward feeling better and making changes in your life. It’s a chance to talk about your feelings and problems with someone who listens well and wants to help. Everyone’s story is different, so therapy isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s about finding what works for you and helping you move forward.

If you’re looking for a place to start, Thrive Downtown is here for you. We make sure that you feel heard and understood. Our team of mental health professionals guides you through the challenges you’re facing. We keep things simple, direct, and focused on what you need. With us, you get the kind of help and support that’s just right for you. Contact us and take that first step today.


Psychotherapy FAQs


Is psychotherapy a type of therapy?

Psychotherapy is a type of therapy, often referred to as “talk therapy” or psychological therapy. It involves a range of treatment techniques that help individuals identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. Psychotherapy improves an individual’s well-being and mental health. It resolves or mitigates troublesome behaviours, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions and improves relationships and social skills.


What is the most common psychotherapy?

The most common form of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing negative thought patterns that can contribute to emotional distress and harmful behaviours. CBT is widely used due to its evidence-based effectiveness in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.


Is psychotherapy the same as psychological therapy?

Psychotherapy and psychological therapy are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe the same process. Both involve scientifically validated techniques to help people develop healthier, more effective habits. There are several forms of psychotherapy, each with its own approach, but they all aim to help people overcome problems and improve their mental health.


Is psychotherapy the same as individual therapy?

Psychotherapy can be conducted in various formats, including individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy. Individual therapy refers specifically to sessions between a single client and a therapist. So, while psychotherapy encompasses individual therapy, it also includes other therapeutic formats.


How does therapy work?

Therapy is a process designed to help individuals understand themselves better, manage their emotions, and develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth where you and your therapist work together in a safe and supportive environment. During therapy sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly. Your therapist will listen attentively, offer empathy, and provide guidance without judgment. The goal is to help you gain insights into your behaviour, identify patterns that may be contributing to your challenges, and develop strategies to address them. Therapy can take various forms, depending on your needs and the therapist’s approach. Regardless of the type, therapy is a collaborative effort. Your active participation and commitment are crucial to its effectiveness.

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with years of experience helping individuals and couples overcome anxiety, depression, and burnout. He guides clients on a journey of self-exploration and trauma release to find purpose, connection, and safety. Take the first step towards healing and contact Carson today to schedule a session.

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