What is Psychotherapy?

“Psychotherapy is a process of discovery which has the goal to eliminate or control troubling and painful symptoms so that the patient can return to normal functioning. It also can be used to help a person overcome a specific problem or to stimulate overall emotional growth and healing.”

Demystifying psychotherapy – a brief explanation.

As caring and empathy are natural human traits, people have always tried to help one another by sitting down and talking about their problems. While there is no magic to the idea, two people working together can often produce great results.

There are records of psychotherapy being practiced in various forms over 2000 years ago. The ancient Stoic philosophy supported the idea of using “Healing words to help people who are perplexed by problems in living.”

Epitectus (55 AD) was a teacher of stoic philosophy and said “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” This is a similar perspective to today’s cognitive behavioural therapy.




In 1880, the term “talking cure” was used by a woman called “Anna O” to describe a new effective therapy she was receiving from a Viennese physician called Joseph Breuer. Breuer, shared his discovery with his friend Sigmund Freud, who was so impressed with this new way of helping people that he devoted his life work to the “talking cure” and wrote extensively about his findings. This popularised the “talking cure” approach to helping, although the methodology has advanced a lot since the turn of the century.

Today Psychotherapy and counselling are general terms used to describe the process of helping people cope better with their life challenges: During this process, a trained therapist helps the client cope with, and or resolve, life problems. Research suggests that successful outcomes are most often achieved by the therapist forming a therapeutic bond with the client and helping them to discover solutions and coping strategies that fit the client’s personality, ability, and life view.

Thoughts about Healing

Everything about life has been figured out, except how to live.
Jean Paul Satre, Philosopher.

Healing may not be so much about getting better as letting go of everything that isn’t you
Rachel Naomi Ramen – Professor of family and community medicine.
Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open and rules are flexible.
Virgina Satir, Family Therapist.
They always say time change things, but actually you have to change them yourself.
Andy Warhod, Artist-Philosopher.