Counseling is a treatment procedure that includes one-on-one sessions between a professional counselor and an individual. It aims to identify and find solutions for issues that cause emotional turmoil; improve communication skills and self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.
Often, therapy is recommended in conjunction with medication and other treatment options. Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) is a variety of treatments that help people identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
A counselor may use different approaches depending on the disorder. Some of these therapies are evidence-based, meaning that research involving large numbers of people has shown they reduce symptoms. NIMH’s health topic pages provide information about some of these therapies and can help you locate a therapist in your area.
Psychotherapy can be helpful in a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can also help reduce the symptoms of some physical illnesses, such as pain and fatigue.
Whether you choose to use psychotherapy alone or alongside other treatment options, it is important to find a therapist who has the right qualifications and training. Many types of mental health professionals offer psychotherapy, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. You can check a provider’s credentials through the National Alliance on Mental Illness or at the NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage. You may also want to ask about the therapist’s fees and whether they accept your insurance plan or have a sliding fee scale based on income. Red light Therapy