What is Psychotherapy?Indications, Objective, About Psychotherapist And Can They Prescribe Medications

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment option developed for treating mental health problems. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy. Psychotherapy word is originated from two Greek word psyche (spirit or soul) and therapia (healing). Frederik Van Eeden first used psychotherapy in treatment of mood disorder in 1892. The psychiatrist Jerome Frank defined psychotherapy as the treatment option for relief of distress or disability caused by mood disorder.  Mood disorder such as depression, anxiety, and anger is common among chronic pain patients. Early recognition of mood disorder and early scheduling of psychotherapy diminishes the severity of symptoms. Psychotherapy is an established treatment for several psychiatric mood disorders, though psychotherapy is not yet fully adapted for patients suffering with chronic pain and mood disorder. Results of improvement after psychotherapy in mood disorder associated with chronic pain cannot be measured by any observable tools. Patient suffering with mood disorder and chronic pain need more structured approach of psychotherapy and pain management.

Psychotherapy treatment is beneficial for reduction of pain as well as symptoms of mood disorder. Psychotherapy allows patient to talk about pain and mood disorder the same time. The link between psychiatric illnesses and chronic pain is seen in 38% of inpatients admitted in psychiatric unit and 18% of outpatient seen in psychiatric outpatient units.

Mood disorders associated with chronic pain are depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, and anger. Mood disorder symptoms are often observed with family members like spouse, children, close relatives, and friends. Chronic pain affects more than 50 million Americans and more than $100 billion is spent annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity. Psychotherapy is beneficial in treating mood disorder.

What is Psychotherapy?

Indications for Psychotherapy

Most common psychological disorder associated with chronic pain is depression, anxiety, and sleep disorder. Thirty percent of chronic pain patient suffer with depression. Psychotherapy is routinely advised for several other psychiatric illnesses.

Following Psychiatric Disorder Are Treated With Psychotherapy:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety – Generalized, Social Anxiety.
  • Sleep Disorder like Insomnia.
  • Panic Disorder.
  • Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder.
  • Manic Disorder.
  • Post Traumatic Disorder.
  • Fear.
  • Phobia.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Delusional Disorder.
  • Thought Disorder – Hallucination.
  • Adjustment Disorder.
  • Eating Disorder – Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa.
  • Sexual Disorder – Dyspareunia, Gender Identity.
  • Substance Abuse Disorder.

Objective of Psychotherapy


  • Daily Activities – Therapist’s objective is to improve daily activities.
  • Family Relations – Improve family relationship with spouse and other family members.
  • Perceptive Functions – Improve awareness, self esteem, mood, and clear thinking.
  • Performance Strategies – Improve emotions, behavior, try to be safe and well-being.
  • Manage – Discomfort or distress.
  • Perception – Improve sensitivity, thoughts and expectation of reality.
  • Encourage Grieving – Grieving and expression of feelings helps to minimize internal sufferings.
  • Improve Medication Response – Psychotherapy improves response to medications.
  • Good Sleep – Sleep helps to improve behavior, self esteem and mood.


About Psychotherapist

Following Experts Provide Psychotherapy:

  • Psychiatrist is a MD physician trained after medical school in psychiatry medicine.
  • Psychologist is either PhD or has a degree of Master in Psychology.
  • Mental Health Provider – Either psychologist or nurse practitioner with masters degree in psychology.
  • Counseling Psychologist – PhD or Masters degree.
  • Psychiatric Social Worker – PhD or Masters degree.

Accurate Assessment of Mood Disorder Depends On

  • Practitioner’s Capability
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Insight

Can A Psychotherapist Prescribe Medications?

M.D. Psychiatrist can prescribe medications. Most of the psychiatric practice provides services of psychologist and MD psychiatrist. Psychologist is engaged in talk therapy along with Psychiatrist and Psychiatrist is involved in prescribing medications.

Psychotherapy Treatment Involves Following Clients

  • Patient
  • Family
  • Couple
  • Group

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 11, 2018

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