Benefits of Psychological Therapy



“Psychotherapy” is a general term used to describe treatments for emotional, behavioral, personality, and mental health issues consisting of talking with a psychologist or other mental health provider. Psychotherapy is also referred to as talking therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy, or, simply, “therapy”. Within a therapeutic relationship, a person learns more about their situation, their typical moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, discovers ways of taking more effective control of life, and responding more authentically to problems of living. It is very important that there be a trusting relationship between a client or patient and therapist.

Psychotherapy can help with most mental health problems. Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) usually respond well to treatment, as do mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), addictions, eating disorders, and personality problems. Therapy can be helpful in recovery from physical or sexual abuse or witnessing violence. Although not everyone who benefits from psychotherapy has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Therapy assists many people to reduce or manage stress from work situations or interpersonal conflicts. It fosters improved coping with major life changes, such as divorce, bereavement, disability or serious health problems, and can help to change negative means of dealing with stress, such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior.

Whether treatment is very brief or longer term depends upon many factors, including the nature of the problem and a clientʼs immediate goals, as well as the personʼs level of motivation and resources of energy, time, and funding or insurance coverage. Generally, but not always, treatments last about an hour and take place weekly.

Psychotherapy and Medication



Depending upon a personʼs situation and the nature of the difficulty, psychotherapy may be as helpful as medication, and in fact talking therapy is often more effective than medication, such as antidepressant medication. Psychotherapy may be an essential part of treatment—for example, where life problems have come to a head. Often, people undergo psychotherapy and medical treatment simultaneously. In some cases, itʼs very important for a person to receive medical treatment as well as psychotherapy, or to be treated medically before he or she is able to make use of psychotherapy.

Individual, Family, and Group Treatment



Psychotherapy is a structured, intentional encounter between a therapist and a client to achieve specific therapeutic aims. While therapeutic conversations are very often between a client or patient and a therapist, sometimes it makes most sense for treatment to be provided to a couple or to a family instead of to only one person. Family Therapy and Marital Therapy are treatments in which people learn better ways of interacting with one another, and work to resolve conflicts or manage specific challenges more effectively. Family therapy may include all family members or just those most able to participate. Psychotherapy with children and their parents often involves play and drawing with the child, and coaching, education, and role-play with parents. In group psychotherapy, one or two therapists lead a group of clients or patients. Specific treatment plans vary case by case.

Risks of Psychotherapy



There is some degree of risk to most any health care treatment, and it is important for therapists and clients to discuss the risks of psychotherapy. For example, where treatment involves exploring painful feelings and experiences, a client or patient may not always feel comfortable. Exposure therapy, for example, requires a person to confront situations they would rather avoid —for example, airplanes for a person with a fear of flying and this can lead to temporary stress or anxiety. And although many relationships improve with couple therapy, a possible side effect of marital therapy is separation or divorce, as couples come to view their differences as irreconcilable.

Under current Manitoba law, anyone can call himself or herself a therapist or counselor, so prospective clients need to ensure that they seek service from a qualified professional. Psychologists have received extensive education (an average of more than nine years of post-secondary education), have focused training in psychological assessment and treatment, and have completed supervised clinical practica and an internship or residency. Throughout their careers, registered (or licensed) psychologists are required to stay current with developments in their field through continuing competency or continuing education. Psychologistsʼ training enables them to provide cost-effective and timely services. A psychologist restricts their practice to their area of demonstrated expertise, and is obliged to abide by a strict code of professional ethics and standards, in a way that protects and honours the trust relationship of psychology, clients or patients, and the public at large. In Manitoba, only a mental health professional registered with the Psychological Association of Manitoba can call himself or herself a psychologist.

To speak with us about individual, couple, family, or group psychotherapies, or about any of the other services we offer, contact us any time.

Anderson Adkins and Associates
Red Ladder Optimized Learning
633 - 1445 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3G 3P4 Canada
Phone (204) 885-3276 (88-LEARN)
Fax (204) 489-1748
Email: info@andersonadkins.ca