Psychotherapy / Counseling
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. The problems addressed are psychological in nature and of no specific kind or degree, but rather depend on the specialty of the practitioner.
Psychotherapy aims to increase the individual's sense of his/her own well-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).The practice of psychotherapy or counseling is legally regulated in the state of Tennessee.
Most forms of psychotherapy use spoken conversation. Some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, artwork, drama, narrative story or music. Psychotherapy with children and their parents often involves play, dramatization (i.e. role-play), and drawing, with a co-constructed narrative from these non-verbal and displaced modes of interacting. Psychotherapy occurs within a structured encounter between a trained therapist and client.
Therapy is generally used in response to a variety of specific or non-specific manifestations of clinically diagnosable and/or existential crises. Treatment of everyday problems is more often referred to as counseling. However, the term counseling is sometimes used interchangeably with "psychotherapy".
While some psychotherapeutic interventions are designed to treat the patient using the medical model, many psychotherapeutic approaches do not adhere to the symptom-based model of "illness/cure". Some practitioners, such as humanistic therapists, see themselves more in a facilitative/helper role. As sensitive and deeply personal topics are often discussed during psychotherapy, therapists are expected, and legally bound, to respect client or patient confidentiality. The critical importance of confidentiality is enshrined in the regulatory psychotherapeutic organizations' codes of ethical practice.