Psychotherapy offers professional help for people suffering from psychological problems. Sometimes, reasons for starting psychotherapy may arise from particular living conditions, relationship issues, or difficult decisions, which affect a person to the point of being overwhelmed.

Psychological suffering can manifest itself in many forms and it is not always recognisable as such at first glance. It can appear (or it can manifest itself) emotionally, or in one’s behaviour, e.g., in confusing emotional states, in the form of pain or in insomnia, in exaggerated reactions or in unusual behaviour.

Patients do not always visit a psychotherapist. The first point of contact is often a general practitioner who will recommend psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy offers guidance and encouragement, but it also requires work on behalf of the patient. Patients seek out new steps of action in cooperation with their therapist, and through a deeper understanding of themselves, which has the power to positively change their lives. The aim of any psychotherapeutic process is to achieve this change.

Psychotherapy can also be described as a learning process within the patient/therapist relationship. Since human processes – especially those concerned with engrained attitudes – are not linear, psychotherapy often requires patience. Paradoxically, patients progress more rapidly if they allow themselves time to change.

See also: Do I Need Psychotherapy? 20 Reasons to Start Psychotherapy.