What is Psychotherapy?

What is psychotherapy? If you ask therapists this question, you will get as many answers as types of therapists. Here is my version of the answer:

Psychotherapy is a healing relationship

what is psychotherapyActually, the relationship itself has been found to be more important in therapy than the approach, and how someone feels about their therapist is extremely important to the outcome of therapy.

How the changing is done, is primarily through verbal discussion, emotional support and positive regard. Homework and other tasks may be helpful as part of the process.

Although therapists follow and use many techniques to help their clients, the studies done on therapy outcomes have consistently found that it is the relationship with the therapist that is the most important predictor of positive outcome in psychotherapy. (See the work of Scott Miller and others at www.talkingcure.com for information on psychotherapy outcomes). I consider the relationship between the therapist and the client to be the most important part of the therapy process.

It is important that you feel cared about by your therapist, that your feelings are heard, and that you feel understood. Although other things happen in counseling, without these qualities, the other things don’t seem to matter much.

I have received training and continually strive to help my clients to feel safe and supported in our relationship. You may need to explore your feelings, the ways in which you are coping, what is and is not working for you, how you may have developed those patterns of dealing with things, and some of the belief systems you hold which may be limiting your options. Sometimes, you may need a safe place to try on new ways of relating to yourself or others.

I can also assist you with understanding some of the difficulties of the process of change and what you may experience as you set goals for yourself.


Psychotherapy does not answer all of life’s problems or prevent future issues. However, at the positive completion of therapy, a person should feel that they have a few more skills for coping with current and future problems, hope for the future, and a renewed sense of their own value and worth.