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Types of Psychotherapeutic Interventions

Psychotherapeutic interventions and Types of Psychotherapeutic Interventions

Psychotherapy is:

essentially a conversation which involves listening to and talking with persons in trouble with the aim of helping individuals to understand and resolve their predicament. Therefore, on an informal level, it is something many people undertake at times with friends and family, and all care professionals engage in with their clients. On a formal level, it is a form of treatment by a professional with education in a psychotherapeutic intervention. Rather than treating the symptoms of the illness as the medical model does through the body, psychotherapy is ‘concerned with the content of the symptoms and their meaning for the patient’s life’.

Psychotherapeutic interventions can help people understand their feelings and ways of coping in order to bring about change. The interventions might involve

thinking about where these feelings and coping mechanisms come from, and trying to resolve past experiences and relationships that are affecting them, or they may

focus on changing particular problematic thoughts and behaviours. For some people,

psychotherapy can be instrumental in the resolution of their problems; for others,it can help in coming to terms with mental illness and the resulting change to life,

and work on issues which trigger episodes and cause relapse. Psychotherapy covers a large group of therapeutic interventions; the most common can be divided into behavioural and psychodynamic therapies.

Types of Psychotherapeutic Interventions.A psychotherapeutic intervention may involve individual, group or family work.

Frank states that the shared characteristics of the different psychotherapeutic models are:

• the therapeutic relationship (i.e. the patient having confidence in the therapist as someone who understands, is knowledgeable and can help)

• a healing setting (i.e. a safe place, which reinforces the therapist’s professionalism)

• a rationale (i.e. an explanation of the cause of the symptoms and a procedure

for resolving them).

Types of Psychotherapeutic Interventions.For out-patient psychotherapy, the client needs to be strong enough to cope with the feelings and memories that might arise from the therapy and the changes that

they might realise they need to make to their lifestyle. In the Health Service, clients are likely to be offered therapy of between weekly and monthly frequency. They need to be able to manage those difficult feelings between sessions. Therefore, it is important for some people to have other support while in therapy, perhaps

someone to be with after a difficult session or to see in between sessions, to help with practical problems or to monitor risk. This can help the therapeutic process as the client may find it safer to open up and use the therapy if they feel any difficult feelings can be managed. The length of treatment for psychotherapy will vary from a few sessions to a few years, depending on the needs of the individual, the type of therapy and the availability of services. Specialist in-patient units or therapeutic communities may offer more intensive and challenging therapy, as the client is in a supported environment and able to attend frequently. A few specialist organizations offer intensive out-patient therapy. Brief interventions may be offered at acute mental health admission wards, often as groups, and are aimed at a supportive rather than explorative level. They can also serve as an assessment for further therapy.

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