Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is psychotherapy?

The word psychotherapy derives from the greek word psyche, that means spirit, and therapeia, meaning healing. Psychotherapy indeed can be described as the “therapy of the soul”.

Psychotherapy includes a range of talking therapies delivered by trained and registered professionals, addressed to treat emotional, mental or behavioural difficulties. Psychological and psychiatric problems are treated by applying specific psychological techniques and protocols.

Psychotherapy is delivered thanks to a professional and unique relationship between the therapist and the patient; therapeutic relationship is indeed characterised by trust, non-judgment and it is protected by confidentiality.

Are there different kinds of psychotherapy?

Yes, there are several types of psychotherapy; each of them refers to a specific theoretical paradigm.

Here are the most common types of therapy:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): working on the influence between what we think, what we feel and how we behave.
  • Psychodynamic Therapies: it mainly works on the unconscious aspects of one’s own mind.
  • Systemic Psychotherapy: addressed to families or group of people considered as systems with their own set of rules, roles and relationships.

How should I choose a specific kind of therapy?

All therapies differ from the theory they refer to and the techniques they involve.

The best way to choose is to garner information on each paradigm and understand which one is the most suitable for you and your difficulties.

Another option is to consult the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, which highlight the most recommended psychotherapeutic choices for each psychological disorder, depending on the efficacy proven by scientific publications.

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a doctor with a University degree in Medicine and a specialisation in Psychiatry. Psychiatrists treat psychiatric issues by administering different kind of medications depending on the mental disorder, whereas psychotherapy is a talking therapy. Most of the times psychotherapists have a psychological, but not medical, background.

Sometimes a patient may undergo both a psychiatric and a psychotherapeutic treatment at the same time as well.

What is the average length of psychotherapy?

The overall length of psychotherapy depends on many factors, first of all the mental condition of the patient, the severity and the chronicity of the situation.

By the way, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tends to be a symptom-focused and a short-medium term intervention.

Usually sessions take place once a week and they last 45 minutes.

If you want to know more about what to expect from therapy, read my post “First session: what to expect?”

For other questions, feel free to enquire.