Rochester Counseling Solutions
Therapy for Individuals, Couples and Families

An Overview and Introduction
Therapy is a general term for a way of treating the emotional or psychological aspects of a problem by talking with a mental health professional. It's also known as talk therapy or psychotherapy.

In practical application, psychotherapy can take many forms. Some of the most commonly practiced forms include:
  • Counseling, the provision of both advice and psychological support, is the most elemental form of psychotherapy. Counseling can be short-term therapy done to assist a person in dealing with an immediate problem such as marital problems or family planning, substance abuse, bereavement, or terminal illness. Or it can be longer-term, more extensive treatment that addresses feelings and attitudes that impair success.
  • Group psychotherapy requires less therapist time, and is thus less expensive. In fact, the interactions that occur between members of the group are expected to provide the change and healing each member receives. The therapist functions as a facilitator, or one who encourages and controls the group interchanges. Group therapy provides each member with the additional benefit of sharing and feedback from others experiencing similar emotional problems. This sharing and feedback has been found to be therapeutic, and the group can actually function as a trial social setting, allowing people to try out newly-learned behaviors.
  • Family therapy began in the 1930s, when Freudian analyst Alfred Adler used it in working with his patients' entire families. Since the 1950s, it has been a widely used and highly respected means of therapy based upon the belief that the relationships and interactions within a family have a profound impact upon the patient's mental difficulties. Family therapy generally does not deal with internal conflicts, but rather encourages positive interactions between the various family members.
The generally accepted aims of psychotherapy are:
  • Increased insight or improved understanding of one's own mental state. This can range from simply knowing one's strengths and weaknesses to understanding that symptoms are signs of a mental illness and to deep awareness and acceptance of inner feelings.
  • The resolution of disabling conflicts, or working to create a peaceful and positive settlement of emotional struggles that stop a person from living a reasonably happy and productive life.
  • Increasing acceptance of self by developing a more realistic and positive appraisal of the person's strengths and abilities.
  • Development of improved and more efficient and successful means of dealing with problems so that the patient can find solutions or means of coping with them.
  • An overall strengthening of ego structure, or sense of self, so that normal, healthy means of coping with life situations can be called upon and used as needed.

Psychotherapy, in its many forms, has been accepted and used throughout the world for more than one hundred years. As a general rule, the majority of people who undergo psychotherapy can expect to make appreciable gains.