Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods [rather than medical means], particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. (Wikipedia)

Also known as “talk therapy,” psychotherapy is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing. (American Psychiatric Association)


Some people— including you, perhaps— may be turned off by the term “psychotherapy.”

I get it.

Acknowledging and seeking help for mental health concerns (whether they be emotional or behavioral in nature) is unfortunately still stigmatized in some communities.

Furthermore, the prefixes “psych-” or “psycho-” are often (and incorrectly) associated solely with severe forms of psychopathology, such as psychotic disorders or psychopathic personality.

I want to be very clear about this: Psychopathology— as a technical term— refers broadly to mental health concerns, and psychotherapy is an approach to alleviating such concerns. All mental health concerns exist on a continuum. Although people often reserve the term psychopathology for the more extreme end, psychotherapy is useful for anyone who falls anywhere along the spectrum of sub-optimal wellbeing.