A mental health therapy where the patient talks with a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or other mental health clinician.

Psychotherapy is a way to treat mental illness and emotional difficulties using an assessment process. The goal of a treatment plan is to reduce or eliminate troubling symptoms, improve functioning, and increase healing and well-being (American Psychological Association, 2019).


Psychotherapy can be provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and others with specialized training in mental health issues. Psychiatrists and psychiatrically-trained advanced practice nurses are credentialed in medicine and are able to prescribe medications (American Psychological Association, n.d.).


Psychotherapy is conducted in individual, family, couple, or group settings and can help individuals of all ages. The therapeutic relationship is key to the success of therapy, and both the patient and therapist contribute to the process. Psychotherapy sessions often take place once per week for between 30–60 minutes, depending up the goals of treatment. Psychotherapy can be short-term, and deal with pressing issues, or long-term, and deal with more complex problems (American Psychological Association, 2019).


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