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    Mental Health and Psychotherapy

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    Approaches to Therapy continued...

    Different approaches to therapy include:

    Psychodynamic Therapy

    Psychodynamic therapy is based on the assumption that a person is having emotional problems because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood. The goal of this type of therapy is for the patient to understand and cope better with these feelings by talking about the experiences. Psychodynamic therapy is administered over a period of at least several months, although it can last longer, even years.

    Interpersonal Therapy

    Interpersonal therapy focuses on the behaviors and interactions a patient has with family and friends. The primary goal of this therapy is to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem during a short period of time. It usually lasts three to four months and works well for depression caused by mourning, relationship conflicts, major life events, and social isolation.

    Psychodynamic and interpersonal therapies help patients resolve mental illness caused by:

    • Loss (grief)
    • Relationship conflicts
    • Role transitions (such as becoming a mother, or a caregiver)

    Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people with mental illness to identify and change inaccurate perceptions that they may have of themselves and the world around them. The therapist helps the patient establish new ways of thinking by directing attention to both the "wrong" and "right" assumptions they make about themselves and others.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy is recommended for patients:

    • Who think and behave in ways that trigger and perpetuate mental illness
    • Who suffer from depression and/or anxiety disorders as the only treatment or, depending on the severity, in addition to treatment with antidepressantmedication
    • Who refuse or are unable to take antidepressant medication
    • Of all ages who have mental illness that causes suffering, disability, or interpersonal problems

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

    Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy used for high-risk, tough-to-treat patients. The term "dialectical" comes from the idea that bringing together two opposites in therapy -- acceptance and change -- brings better results than either one alone. DBT helps a person change unhealthy behaviors such as lying and self-injury through keeping daily diaries, individual and group therapy and phone coaching. 

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