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Psychotherapy is a broad term. It's a range of types of therapy such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy —Changes how you think and feel about facing certain problems.
  • Interpersonal therapy—Helps how you relate with the people in your life.
  • Psychodynamic therapy—Looks at what happened when you were a child, your conflicts, and thought patterns about yourself.

The core is the relationship between you and your therapist. The goal is to make you feel and work better.

Managing Mental Health Concerns
Brain Man Face
Mental health concerns may be caused by a combination of physiological and emotional triggers. Psychotherapy can help patients cope by decreasing the effects of emotional triggers.
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Possible Complications

During therapy sessions, you may feel upset or uncomfortable. This is because you will be facing difficult feelings and events. If you have a phobia, you may be slowly exposed to this fear. This can cause worry.

It may take some time before you find someone who you are comfortable with. It's common to have to try more than one. Seek out other people to give you references.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Counseling; Emotion-Based Psychotherapy; Individual Therapy; Psychosocial Therapy; Talk Therapy)


American Psychiatric Association 

Mental Health America 


Canadian Mental Health Association 

Canadian Psychiatric Association 


Finding a therapist who can help you heal. Help Guide website. Available at: Updated April 2018. Accessed September 4, 2018.

Individual therapy (psychotherapy). Good Therapy website. Available at: Updated February 13, 2018. Accessed September 4, 2018.

Psychotherapy. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: Updated March 17, 2016. Accessed September 4, 2018.

Psychotherapy for children and adolescents: Definition. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: Updated February 2017. Accessed September 4, 2018.