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 arepsychological in nature and can vary in terms of their causes, influences, triggers, and potential resolutions. Accurate assessment of these and other variables is dependent on the practitioners capability and can change or evolve as the practitioner acquires greater experience, knowledge, and insight.
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 andbehavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).
Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including psychiatry, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical or psychiatric social work, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, play therapy, music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy,psychiatric nursing, psychoanalysis and those from other psychotherapies. It may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated, depending on the jurisdiction. Requirements of these professions vary, but often require graduate school and supervised clinical experience. Psychotherapy in Europe is increasingly being seen as an independent profession, rather than being restricted to being practiced only by psychologists and psychiatrists as is stipulated in some countries.