About psychotherapy

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Psychotherapy is an independent scientific discipline that is practiced at an advanced, qualified and scientific level. It covers a wide range of approaches and methods based on established theories, methodologies and research. The term psychotherapy covers a wide range of approaches and methods. All of them include psychotherapeutic treatment (as opposed to medical or pharmacological) for a range of psychological and emotional difficulties and disorders and relationship difficulties and disorders. Each approach is based on established theories, methodologies and research, rooted in the philosophy of personality and the human condition.

Psychotherapy can be short-term or long-term. Some approaches are focused on treating and resolving symptoms and addressing evident behaviour and cognition. Some other approaches aim to bring about a change in a person’s personality and emotional development by taking into account aspects of the individual’s inner world that the person may be unaware of and by helping them understand and change deep and often unconscious emotional problems and relationship problems. Different approaches may be indicated or appropriate depending on the problem present or the client’s preference.

Psychotherapy provides effective treatment for people with severe mental disorders. People may seek help from a psychotherapist for specific reasons, such as early childhood trauma, eating disorders, psychosomatic states, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive behaviour, or phobic anxiety. In some other situations, clients seek help because of the principled ubiquitous feeling of depression or anxiety, because of difficulty concentrating, dissatisfaction at work, or inability to form satisfactory relationships. But the value of psychotherapy is not limited to those with mental health problems. Many people who experience feelings of emptiness or meaninglessness in their lives, or who seek a greater sense of fulfilment, can benefit from
psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can serve adults, adolescents, children and families.

A relationship with a psychotherapist is a key element of any psychotherapy. The psychotherapist offers a confidential and private environment in which difficult experiences can be researched and processed in a safe way. Current theoretical and empirical research confirms the importance of the psychotherapeutic relationship as a key factor influencing the success of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy has also benefited from recent developments in attachment theory and from discoveries in affective and cognitive neuroscience. Psychotherapists work closely with colleagues in neuroscience in these emerging fields. Psychotherapy is at the core of conversation therapy, however, psychotherapists can use a full range of methods, including art, music, staging, and


  • one-on-one sessions
  • involve a partner or family member
  • group sessions
  • some therapists specialize in working with adolescents and children

EAP psychotherapists work in a variety of settings, including national health services, psychiatric and general hospitals, child and adolescent centers, private practices, and volunteer groups.

European Commission – ESCO – Occupations, skills, competences, qualifications and occupations of psychotherapists




Psychotherapists help and treat health care users with varying degrees of psychological, psychosocial or psychosomatic disorders and pathogenic conditions using psychotherapeutic methods. They promote personal development and well-being and provide advice on improving relationships with others, skills and problem-solving techniques. They use science-based methods such as behavioral therapy, existential analysis and logotherapy, psychoanalysis or systematic family therapy to help patients develop and help them find appropriate solutions to their problems. Psychotherapists do not have to have a degree in psychology or a medical qualification in psychiatry. It is an independent profession in the field of psychology, psychiatry and counseling.